• March 30th, 2020

Rittmann seeks leave to appeal sentence

WINDHOEK - Rachel Rittmann, who was sentenced to life imprisonment last year by Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg for the murder of her husband, 35-year-old Rudolph Henry Rittmann, is seeking leave to appeal the sentence in the Supreme Court. 

The 49-year-old and her former lover Ricardo Rhyno du Preez, 35, were both convicted of murder by Judge Liebenberg. Rittmann, who according to the judge was the mastermind behind the brutal murder of her husband, was slapped with a life imprisonment, while Du Preez was sentenced to 34 years. 

Rittmann, not satisfied with the sentence, now wants Liebenberg to grant her leave to appeal the life sentence in the Supreme Court, claiming the judge erred when he found that she was the only mastermind or planned to kill Henry Rittmann. She argues the evidence showed that both her and Du Preez masterminded and planned the killing of her husband. 

She further contends the judge was wrong when he concluded that it was only her who took a calculated decision on when the killing should take place, whereas the evidence show that they both decided when to commit the crime. 

She said although the judge accepted that she suffers from general anxiety disorder (GAD), he erred when he concluded that her personality type is ‘obsessive compulsive personality which rigidly needs to be in control at all times’. According to Rittmann, a psychiatrist diagnosed her as a personality with ‘dependent personality traits’. 

She said the judge erred when he concluded that GAD did not render her less accountable for her actions and that the circumstances of the offence rather than GAD should establish a mitigating factor. 
The judge further erred, according to Rittmann, when he found that the commission of the offence was not at variance with her normal functioning, and in not giving any weight to the condition of GAD or alternatively did not give sufficient weight to it. 

She also said the judge was wrong to conclude the only motive to kill the deceased was for her to inherit under his will, and as a beneficiary of his life insurance, while finding in the judgement on conviction that jealousy was also a motive. 

Rittmann further claims that Judge Liebenberg overemphasised the lack of remorse on her part and did not give any or insufficient weight to the fact that she was trial-awaiting for six years. 
The hearing will be today, with Johan van Vuuren representing Rittmann, while Advocate Marthino Olivier will represent the state. 

Roland Routh
2020-01-23 07:31:51 | 2 months ago

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