Alleged double killer gets new lawyer

Lukas Nicodemus, accused of murdering two women and burning their bodies at a Windhoek dumpsite, has made another pre-trial appearance in the High Court.

19 January 2018 | Justice

A man accused of killing two women and burning their bodies at a dumpsite in Windhoek in January 2016 now has a new state-funded defence lawyer.

The Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid has appointed senior legal counsel Jan Wessels to represent the accused man.

This was made public yesterday when Lukas Nicodemus made a second appearance before High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo during a pre-trial conference of case management review.

On 23 November last year, the 47-year-old Nicodemus terminated Milton Engelbrecht's services during his first appearance in the High Court, claiming that the lawyer was not willing to bring a formal bail application in the High Court.

Engelbrecht was fired just as he was about to make arrangements to visit the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility's holding cells to consult with Nicodemus.

The lawyer was only provided with a copy of the case record and other related documents on Thursday morning.

When he was fired, Engelbrecht told High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg he could not entertain Nicodemus' request in respect of the formal bail application because the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid only appointed and instructed him to represent the accused on trial.

As a result of this, Nicodemus was again ordered to apply to the Directorate of Legal Aid for another lawyer to represent him.

The State alleges that during the period of 6 and 7 January 2016, he intentionally and unlawfully killed Johanie Naruses, 29, and Clemensia de Wee, 23.

The two victims' partially burnt corpses were discovered at a dumpsite near Pionierspark in Windhoek by a security guard who was working in the area.

Nicodemus' black sedan was later found by police abandoned at an unnamed location.

The car is believed to have been used in the transportation of the bodies of the two women, as police found bloodstains in it.

The State alleges the victims' remains were burned in an attempt to conceal the crime.

Nicodemus, who is facing two charges of murder and a charge of obstructing the course of justice, denied the offence when he entered his preliminary pleas of 'not guilty' to the charges against him in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court.

He also underwent a 30-day psychiatric evaluation in August last year and was found to be fit to stand trial and understand court proceedings.

Nicodemus remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility.

Deputy prosecutor-general Antonia Verhoef is representing the State in the matter.

NAMPA

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