WINDHOEK, 03 AUG – A Windhoek resident who stands accused of shooting and killing his co-worker at an end-of-year work party in the capital in 2016, was on Friday provisionally set free.
Julian Dawson, 39, faces a charge of murder following the shooting at the party at a bar in Ausspannplatz on 12 November 2016, which claimed the life of Sheku Bonifatius Tjihepo, 35.
Dawson was temporarily set free owing to failure by the Office of the Prosecutor-General (PG) to take a decision in connection with the matter in time and due to their recent decision to refer the docket of the case back to the police investigating officer with further instructions for immediate attention.
“The docket was forwarded to the Office of the Prosecutor-General. It has, however, referred the docket back to the police with further instructions that are dated 11 July 2018. These instructions were not complied with until today and I understand that the police investigating officer is on compassionate leave and has travelled to Rundu in the Kavango West Region,” said public prosecutor Marcus Angula.
He further explained: “Seeing that the matter is on the court roll finally for the PG’s decision, the prosecution is, therefore, making an application that the charges against the accused be provisionally withdrawn.”
Windhoek Magistrate Vanessa Stanley subsequently set Dawson free after she provisionally withdrew the charges against him as per the State representative’s request.
In addition, the court has issued an order that Dawson’s bail of N.dollars 10 000 be provisionally cancelled and refunded to the depositor.
Charges will be reinstated against the accused once the police complete their investigations into the matter in respect of the further instructions by the PG’s office.
Prominent Windhoek-based defence lawyer Sarel Maritz represented Dawson.
The State alleges that on the night of the shooting, an argument broke out between the accused and the deceased, which resulted in Dawson taking out a gun and firing three shots at random, while they were in the company of friends and colleagues.
Dawson later allegedly shot and killed Tjihepo while the two men were wrestling over the gun. Tjihepo was shot as he was trying to wrestle the gun away from Dawson. One bullet penetrated his chest and another his back. Both men were allegedly under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.