Alleged girlfriend killer fights for discharge
28 May 2020 | Justice
A man on trial in the Windhoek High Court for allegedly killing his girlfriend, International University of Management student Iyaloo Hainghumbi in 2017, is now fighting for a discharge.
Victor Elia (37) on Tuesday, shortly after the closing of the prosecution's case, brought an urgent application in which he asked acting High Court judge Eileen Rakow to set him free.
He said he should be released as the State has so far not presented any prima facie evidence linking him to the murder.
“I was not involved in this case. I am not the person who killed the deceased person. I was never in contact with the deceased some days prior to her death and/or on the day of the murder incident.
“The over 20 State witnesses who testified on behalf of the prosecution never saw me in the company of the deceased. Furthermore, no single evidence of DNA related to the deceased was found on my clothing,” said Elia in his application.
In his response to Elia's application, State advocate Salomon Kanyemba countered that the accused is advancing “pure denial”, while overwhelming evidence by State witnesses showed he was indeed in telephonic contact with the deceased prior to her death and was also the last person seen in her company while she was alive. “Elia has a case to answer in this matter. He should not be set free. He must be placed on his defence,” Kanyemba informed the court, while asking it to dismiss the application for discharge.
Elia brought his application for discharge through his Legal Aid-funded defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji.
The matter was postponed to 8 June when Rakow will deliver her ruling on the application.
Elia has been in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility since his arrest in January 2017, with no option to post bail due to the seriousness and complexity of the charge he is facing.
He faces a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act of 2003.
The deceased's body was discovered near the B1 road between Windhoek and Okahandja on 14 January 2017.
The prosecution alleges that Elia murdered Hainghumbi by hitting her over the head several times with an unknown object, after which he allegedly dumped her body on the side of the road.
It is alleged that Elia was not happy after learning that Hainghumbi wanted to end their relationship of three years.
During his failed formal bail application in 2017, Elia denied being involved in Hainghumbi's death.
He told the court he only met with her briefly on 13 January 2017 and did not know what happened to her thereafter.