Bail application by key American murder suspect removed from roll
30 November 2018 | Justice
The hearing of the bail application was scheduled to kick off before Acting High Court Judge Ileni Velikoshi on Thursday morning, but was struck off the court roll because his newly privately-instructed defence lawyer, Trevor Brockerhoff was unable to obtain an evidence statement from one of his client's witnesses who was reportedly out of Windhoek.
Brockerhoff said he will have to consult with Tomas on whether to place back the bail application before court or not.
Meanwhile, the deputy prosecutor-general, Antonia Verhoef, was opposing the granting of bail on grounds that the American is a flight risk and can easily flee from Namibia to his native country or other countries once released on bail in efforts to evade prosecution, owing to the seriousness and complexity of the charges he is facing.
The 29-year-old Tomas is charged in the matter alongside countryman Kevan Townsend, 28. Townsend is not part of this bail application. In the matter, the two accused each face charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, unlawful importation of a firearm into Namibia, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of ammunition, and attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice. Tomas and Townsend are the only names mentioned by the Namibian police so far in connection with the investigation into the murder.
According to the police, Heckmair was found dead behind the wheel of a Land Cruiser pick-up in a cul-de-sac in the Klein Windhoek residential area on 7 January 2011. Investigations launched by the police led them to Townsend and Tomas, and they were arrested on 13 January 2011.
The duo made their first court appearance on 14 January 2011. The police's crime investigations coordinator for the Khomas Region, Deputy Commissioner Sylvanus Nghishidimbwa said at the time the police had been unable to locate the murder weapon or the mobile phone and wallet containing at least N$1 000 that were missing from Heckmair's car. Townsend told the police that he is a resident of New York, while Tomas said he lives in Los Angeles. The two Americans are held at the Windhoek Correctional Services facility, with no option to post bail.