A murder suspect, who refused to testify in his own defence in an ongoing case, was recently convicted in the Oshakati High Court.
Judge Johanna Salionga found Fillipus Uusiku guilty of murder, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm and assault by threat.
Uusiku was charged with the offences for killing Rauha Kamati with a wooden mahangu pounding stick after he previously assaulted her by kicking, hitting and pulling her hair.
He had also threatened to kill her three days prior to the murder; he threw beer bottles at her, the indictment stated. The incident is said to have happened at the homestead of Kamati at Ondjokwe village in the Ondangwa district on 31 July 2017.
Uusiku apparently did all this because the victim refused to give him her cell phone.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges and offered no plea explanation. He further put the State to prove all the elements of the offences. After the State closed its case against Uusiku, he opted not to testify in his defence or call any witnesses. According to the indictment, the accused first assaulted the victim with his fist and kicked her. When the mother of the victim came to her aid and hit him with a pounding stick on his ribs, the accused pushed her to the ground and used the object to assault the deceased, including several times on the head. The cause of death was determined to be severe head injury caused by the assault. According to the doctor that performed the post-mortem, excessive force was used to cause such injury.
Several other witnesses further testified to the assault. While it is the right of an accused to remain silent during his trial, the judge said, where there is overwhelming evidence against him, it is not advisable to do so.
“In the final analysis, the circumstances of the present case are that a causal link between the assault and the death of the deceased was sufficiently established,” the judge said. “Direct evidence had been led that incriminated the accused and this evidence calls for an answer. Even though the accused is not obliged to give evidence, it is my humble opinion that this is not an appropriate case where the accused can opt to exercise his right to remain silent.” Lucius Matota represented the State, while Beatrix Boois, on instructions of Legal Aid, represented the accused.
2020-06-17 09:56:13 | 3 months ago