WINDHOEK, 16 MAY – The Windhoek High Court has on Wednesday refused to release on bail a senior Namibian Police Force (NamPol) officer accused of shooting dead a learner and wounding a woman at Gobabis two years ago.
High Court Judge Johanna Salionga, who presides over the formal bid, refused to release Lazarus Oscar Awaseb on bail on the grounds that the police inspector is facing a number of multiple serious charges and it would not be in the interest of the public or the administration of justice at this stage.
Other reasons for the refusal of bail were that Awaseb was a senior officer in NamPol and once granted bail, he could easily interfere with the prosecution’s case by directly or indirectly influencing State witnesses.
Awaseb’s defence of the deterioration of his health when he developed asthma due to incarceration cannot be an excuse for the granting of bail, because the prison authorities can still move him to a well-ventilated holding cell upon request, Salionga said.
The 49-year-old Awaseb earlier this month lodged the failed formal bail application before court in which he asked the court to release him on bail, arguing that police investigations into the case are now complete and he does not understand why the State still keeps him in custody.
Awaseb, through his defence lawyer Mese Tjituri, told the court that he will not abscond from Namibia in efforts to evade prosecution as he has no family or relatives living outside the country.
Awaseb was the head of NamPol’s Criminal Investigations Unit at Gobabis at the time of the shooting incident.
He faces charges of murder, attempted murder, negligent discharge of a firearm, possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence, malicious damage to property and theft.
Awaseb is accused of shooting and wounding his girlfriend, Mildred Haoses, 22, and killing 18-year-old Odilo Rathebe Motonane on 22 March 2016.
The romantic relationship between Awaseb and Haoses developed during 2015 and at that stage, Haoses was apparently already involved in a relationship with Motonane.
It is further alleged that Haoses terminated her relationship with Awaseb in March 2016 and that the police officer was not happy about it.
He showed up at her shack in the early morning hours of 22 March 2016 and found her in bed with the teenager. He allegedly first shot Motonane dead before shooting Haoses three times in the hip and thigh, before she managed to flee from the shack. The accused then allegedly shot and wounded himself in the shoulder.
Awaseb’s trial begins on 23 July 2018.