WINDHOEK, 22 MAR – Two Americans on trial in the High Court in connection with the murder of Namibian Andre Heckmair in January 2011, now want to be released on bail.
The suspects are Marcus Kevin Tomas and Kevin Donnell Townsend.
The two men, through their State-funded defence lawyers Amoomo Kadhila and Mbanga Siyomuinji, informed Deputy High Court Judge-President Hosea Angula during a pre-trial conference of case management review on Thursday they will bring an urgent joint formal bail application before the High Court in the next few days to have their clients released on bail.
The lawyers said the planned bail application will be heard on an urgent basis and they will file papers before the Registrar of the High Court during the course of next week in efforts to have the Americans released on bail.
Kadhila also informed the court that his client, Tomas, has now abandoned his earlier intention to petition the Windhoek Supreme Court for the dismissal of his application to have High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg removed from his trial.
On 17 July 2017, Judge Liebenberg refused to allow Tomas leave to appeal in the Windhoek Supreme Court, saying after summing up the evidence presented before court there are no prospects of success in that court.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef told the court on Thursday the bail application is just another delaying tactic.
On 19 October 2016, Judge Liebenberg found Tomas fit to stand trial following reports by three psychiatrists – Willem Annandale, Tuviah Zabon and Reinhardt Sieberhagen – who assessed Tomas on a request by the State.
He wanted the medical reports and other findings to be thrown out, but the court ruled in favour of the findings by the three medical experts and this evidence will now be used against him during trial.
Tomas still claims he suffers memory loss and other mental impairments since 03 November 2014 when he jumped from a tree and landed on the barbed wire of the prison fence, head down, during a failed attempt to escape from the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility.
Heckmair was shot dead in Windhoek on 07 January 2011.
The two American nationals 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.
The duo remains in custody, pending the hearing of the bail application on a yet to be announced date.