• July 14th, 2020

DNA of three murders accused not at crime scene

Roland Routh

WINDHOEK - Maryn Swart, the Chief Forensic Scientist at the National Forensic Science Institute (NFSI) yesterday testified that she only found the DNA of two of the accused in the ongoing murder-for-hire trial currently underway in the Windhoek High Court.
Swart told Judge Johanna Salionga at the High Court situated at the Windhoek Correctional Facility that she only found the DNA of David Kondjara, 32, and Abuid Uazeua on the cigarette butts that was collected at the scene.
According to her, no other traces of anyone of the accused was found at the scene.
She also said that the self-made cigarette pieces that were found at the scene did not contain any viable DNA to analyse.
The Legal Aid lawyers for Kondjara and Uazeua told Swart that their clients do not dispute being at the scene, but not the actual crime scene, on March 6, 2015 almost three weeks before the murder - socialising and smoking.
According to Tuna Nhinda, the legal representative of Kondjara, his client was in area where the murder was committed, but at a distance away where there is a table and some chairs.
Mbanga Siyomunji, who is representing Uazeua on instructions of Legal Aid, told Swart the same story, but went ahead and asked her to explain the transference of DNA.
Swart explained that DNA can be transferred in various manners, either through direct contact with an object or person, or through secondary transfer by touching something that was previously touched by another person.
She further explained that it is not uncommon to find DNA where a person was at any given time.
According to the scientist, there is a principle that states you always leave something behind and take something with you at any given time you are somewhere. 
Siyomunji also asked Swart about blood found on trousers of Uazeua and whether she could find any DNA of the deceased in the blood.
Swart answered in the negative and told the court that the blood found on the trouser was not human blood.
He further wanted to know if any animal blood is the same as human blood and she said that ferrets – which is not endemic to Namibia - as well as primates such as apes and baboons has similar characteristics to human blood and can indicate a false positive when tested in the field, but will not yield any human DNA when tested in a laboratory.
She further told the court that DNA evidence should not be relied upon solely for conviction purposes, but must be seen as a supporting science only, taken in conjunction with further evidence.   
Swart was testifying in the trial of Anastancia Lubinda, 33 who are charged with murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act in relation with the brutal murder of her husband, Peter Riscoh Muleke, 36 whose lifeless body of was found in a pool of blood surrounded by bloody rocks and stones.
Facing a charge of murder with her is Kondjara, Uazeua, Donald Hindjou, 28 and Orivitje artist Dollam Tjitjahuma, 29 whom she allegedly hired for N$5 000 to kill Muleke.
The trial is continuing today and Lubinda is represented by Milton Engelbrecht on instructions of Legal Aid, Legal Aid lawyer Meriam Kenaruzo is representing Hindjou and Natji Tjirera from Legal Aid, appears on behalf of Tjitjahuma.
The state is represented by Advocate Marthino Olivier and the accused remain in custody.

Roland Routh
2019-07-19 09:30:11 | 11 months ago

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