Murder accused cop denied bail

17 May 2018 | Justice

The High Court has denied bail to Lazarus Oscar Awaseb, the former commander of the police detective unit at Gobabis who is accused of murdering his girlfriend's lover and attempting to murder her.

This was his second bail application, after he was initially refused bail by the Gobabis district court.

Judge Johanna Salionga emphasised that Awaseb's deteriorating health did not address the issue of public interest or the interests of the administration of justice.

“The cited new grounds of the bail application has not changed the position that it is not in the public interest to release the applicant on bail,” Salionga said.

“The stopping of (his) salary and (his) inability to pay creditors are ordinary consequences of detention and do not warrant the granting of bail.”

Awaseb's new bail application facts were that the investigation against him was now complete and that the holding police cells at the Hosea Kutako International Airport, where he is kept, are not properly ventilated. As a result he is developing breathing problems.

He said he is also facing the inability to maintain himself and honour his creditors, and that he has a fixed address.

The accused is scheduled to appear for plea and trial on July 2018 in the Windhoek High Court.

He is facing multiple charges of murder and attempted murder, read in conjunction with the Combatting of Domestic Violence Act, with alternative charges of the negligent discharge or handling of a firearm and the unlawful possession of a weapon and ammunition.

It is alleged that Awaseb shot dead 18-year-old Odilo Rathebe Motonane on 22 March 2016.

Awaseb allegedly shot the diseased after he found him with his former girlfriend, Mildred Haoses.

The suspect is also accused of attempted murder in that he shot and wounded Haoses. He also attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself, but survived.

He is also facing a charge of malicious damage to property in that he during the period 18 to 22 March 2018 intentionally damaged a home theatre system that was lawfully in Haoses' possession. The accused threw it on the ground with the intent to injure the complainant inside her property, it is alleged.

Miese Tjituri appears for the defence, while Cliff Litubezi is the prosecutor.

FRED GOEIEMAN

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