SWAKOPMUND - Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (Nimt) employee Ernst Lichtenstrasser who has been in police custody for almost three weeks, was finally charged yesterday with the murders.
Lichtenstrasser was charged with brutal double murders committed on 15 April at Arandis.
The 57-year-old Lichtenstrasser however vehemently denied having committed the heinous murders, whereby, Nimt Executive Director Eckhart Mueller and his deputy Heimo Helwig where murdered.
The duo was gunned down at close range, as they were about to report for duty at the Nimt campus on a cold Monday morning.
Their bodies were found by the institution’s matron, who earlier said Mueller was still alive when she found him, but he died shortly afterwards.
Police yesterday however remained tight-lipped on how they could positively link Lichtenstrasser to the double murder after arresting him for a minor charge of ammunition possession, which made him a person of interest at that time.
“They got the wrong guy. I didn’t do it, ” Lichtenstrasser told journalists shortly before he made his first court appearance in front of Magistrate Nelao Brown in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court on the double murder charges.
During his appearance, state prosecutor Maria Shilongo opposed bail for Lichtenstrasser due to the seriousness of the case, public interest as well as ongoing police investigation.
Based on the state’s request, Brown denied Lichtenstrasser bail and postponed his case to 24 July. She however informed him he can formally apply for bail as he also indicated that he will appoint a private lawyer.
Brown also stated that Lichtenstrasser be detained at the Walvis Bay police holding cells.
However, the suspect objected stating that he is of ill health and needs regular medical care. Although he did not reveal his illness, Lichtenstrasser said the conditions of the Walvis Bay holding cells is overcrowded and unhygienic for a person his age.
“I would rather want to be detained at the Arandis police holding cells as its cleaner and lesser people in custody. It is also easier to communicate with my wife, daughter and lawyer from there.
However, Brown objected his request, saying that he should rather be detained at the Walvis Bay correctional facility, which is also more capable to cater for his needs and ailments.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-05-10 08:48:32 | 9 months ago