• July 14th, 2020

DNA scientist testifies in murder-for-hire trial

WINDHOEK - The scientist that collected and analysed the exhibits found at the scene where the lifeless body of Peter Riscoh Muleke, 36, was found in a pool of blood has testified in the murder-for-hire trial currently underway in the Windhoek High Court.

Testifying before Judge Johanna Salionga at the High Court situated at the Windhoek Correctional Facility, Forensic Scientist Tuyenikelao Nakalemo explained to the judge how it came about that she got involved in the matter. According to Nakalemo, she and a colleague were summoned to the crime scene by Sergeant Nuule, the investigating officer, on the morning of April 1, 2015.

Upon their arrival there, they were escorted by the police to the scene where they observed various bloody stones and rocks and a huge blood pool.

She further said that they started collecting the exhibits and taking photographs of the items, they collected.

Nakalemo also told the court that during their search of the scene, they came across two cigarette butts with the ash still attached to it and moist.

They also found two self-made cigarettes or zolle as it is commonly known with the contents still inside the rolled-up paper.

This made her believe that the items were dropped at the scene just before or during the killing of the deceased, the scientists said.

However, during cross-examination, she conceded that she could not say with certainty for how long those items were lying there, but added that it could not have been long as the contents of the zolle and the ash from the cigarette butts would have been blown away by the wind if it had been there for a considerable period of time.

Nakamelo further informed the court that after they finished collecting the exhibits, it was sealed in a forensic evidence bag and handed to Nuule who later booked it in at the National Forensic Science Institute (NFSI).

She further told Judge Salionga that after a few days, she was again summoned to the Windhoek Mortuary where she took mouth swabs from the accused-in the matter to compare their DNA with the items she collected at the crime scene.

During August of 2015, she retrieved the items from the storage unit at the NSFI laboratory and started with the extraction of the DNA process, Nakalemo further explained.

That was where her role ended and that of Chief Forensic Scientist at the NFSI, Maryn Swart started, the witness concluded.

The wife of the deceased, Anastancia Lubinda, 33 is charged with murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, while her co-accused David Kondjara, 32, Abuid Uazeua, 39 Donald Hindjou, 28 and Orivitje artist Dollam Tjitjahuma, 29 are charged with murder for killing Lubinda’s husband. 

The trial is continuing today and Lubinda is represented by Milton Engelbrecht on instructions of Legal Aid, Kondjara by Legal Aid lawyer Tuna Nhinda, Meriam Kenaruzo, another legal aid lawyer for Hindjou and Natji Tjirera, also from Legal Aid, appears on behalf of Tjitjahuma.

The State is represented by Advocate Marthino Olivier and the accused remain in custody.

Roland Routh
2019-07-17 10:03:41 | 11 months ago

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