WINDHOEK, 15 JUN – Windhoek resident Johny Ryno Diergaardt, who is on trial in the High Court for stabbing his girlfriend to death about four years ago, has been found fit to stand trial.
A report compiled by private psychiatrist, Dr Gerhard Marx, showed the alleged killer is fit to stand trial and able to understand court proceedings, give instructions to his legal representative and can differentiate between right and wrong.
The report, compiled on 06 June 2018, was made available in court on Thursday.
It said Diergaardt had not suffered any mental illness prior to the commission of the murder in which Tiffany Tanita Lewin lost her life on 03 March 2014.
The incident occurred in a room the accused rented in Khomasdal’s Garnet Street.
“I found no reason from a mental health perspective why Johny Ryno Diergaardt cannot stand trial or doubt his ability to decide right from wrong during the commission of the alleged murder incident. I think the accused is able to stand trial as he was able to give me a fairly comprehensive rundown of how the trial is likely to play out,” the private psychiatrist said in the report.
A date for the continuation of the trial will be decided upon by Diergaardt’s government-sponsored defence lawyer Boris Isaacks and State Advocate Seredine Jacobs in court on Friday.
Diergaardt was earlier this year sent to Dr Marx after he asked for psychiatric observation to be conducted by a private psychiatrist of his choice.
He was in February 2017 seen by State psychiatrists at the Windhoek Central Hospital’s Psychiatry Unit and was declared fit to stand trial.
The 30-year-old Diergaardt was referred for a mental check-up after claiming before court that he could not recall the events leading up to the brutal stabbing of his girlfriend.
He is charged with a count of murder in respect of his girlfriend’s death. He allegedly stabbed her in front of her four-year-old son.
Deceased Lewin was allegedly stabbed at least 27 times.
She died on the scene.
Media reports at the time indicated that the boy intervened and stabbed the accused on his upper thigh in an attempt to stop him from stabbing his mother.
Diergaardt remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial-awaiting prisoners.
High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo is presiding over the trial.