Convicted rapists Russian national Alexander Krylov and his Namibian counterpart Anna Engelbrecht want the High Court to provide an opportunity for them to petition the Supreme Court over their convictions and sentences.
The pair, through their lawyer, Ileni Velikoshi, claim High Court Judge Claudia Claasen convicted them despite various alleged shortcomings in the prosecution’s evidence.
They further claim the court failed to investigate minimum punishments for the duo that they claim are more suitable for the charge of rape as stipulated by law.
They also accuse Claasen of having questioned the State witnesses and the accused in a “manner and extent that it conveyed an impression that she was not impartial and/or pro-State”.
Furthermore, the duo also objected to the judge having played the role of interpreter during witness cross-examination.
On the Engelbrecht rape conviction, Velikoshi said the court was wrong to conclude she instigated the victims to indulge in sexual acts with Krylov.
“There is no evidence that the presence of accused two (Engelbrecht) was used to intimidate any of the complainants. This was also not a stated ‘coercive circumstance’ against her,” said Velikoshi.
On 13 February, Claasen convicted Krylov on 10 counts of rape and 10 counts of trafficking in persons, as well as a count of supplying children under the age of 18 with cigarettes.
Engelbrecht was convicted on three counts of rape and five counts of trafficking in persons.
Consequently, on 17 March, Claasen sentenced Krylov to five years on each count of trafficking and 15 years on each count of rape.
She, however, ordered that nine of the sentences on the trafficking counts are to be served concurrently with the sentences on the remaining trafficking count.
The further eight sentences on the rape counts are to be served concurrently with two of the other rape counts.
She also sentenced him to a fine of N$12 000 or 12 months in default on the cigarette conviction. As such, Krylov faces a total sentence of 35 years behind bars.
Claasen sentenced Engelbrecht to five years each on the trafficking convictions and 15 years each on the rape convictions.
She ordered that four of the five sentences on the trafficking convictions are to be served concurrently with the sentences imposed on the remaining count.
She further ordered that two of the three sentences imposed on the rape charges are to be served concurrently with the sentences imposed on the remaining rape count – giving an effective sentence of 20 years in prison.
During the trial, Krylov admitted he had intercourse with at least five under-aged girls during 2017, but denied that he raped any of them.
The duo faced 42 counts of rape and child trafficking in addition to a charge of supplying minors with cigarettes.
The judge found the remorse expressed by the accused was purely lip service and determined they only regret being caught.