WINDHOEK, 22 MAR – Gotlieb Panduleni, a key suspect in the murder of Walvis Bay businessman Hans-Jorg Möller, no longer has legal representation following the withdrawal of State-funded defence lawyer Chris Mayumbelo from the case.
Windhoek-based defence lawyer Mayumbelo withdrew from the case shortly after he closed down his law firm in the capital and is no longer working as a legal counsel.
His withdrawal was made public when the 30-year-old Panduleni alongside co-accused David Tashiya, 29; David Shekundja, 35; Elly Ndapuka Hinaivali, 29; and Malakia Shiweda, 28, on Thursday appeared before High Court Deputy Judge-President Hosea Angula during a pre-trial conference of case management review.
Panduleni was ordered to apply to the Justice Ministry’s Directorate of Legal Aid for another government-funded defence lawyer to defend him during future court proceedings and when the trial proper begins.
The five men’s murder case was on Thursday remanded until 19 April 2018 in order to allow the Directorate of Legal Aid to appoint and instruct a new lawyer for Panduleni, who is listed as accused number one in the matter.
Panduleni was free on bail for three other murder cases when he allegedly committed the latest crime.
The five men remain in custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility with no option to post bail due to the serious nature of the crime and objection from the family of the deceased.
Möller was attacked and shot in the stomach during an armed robbery at his house in June 2017, leading to his death in the hospital a few days after the incident.
The five men are charged with murder, attempted murder, robbery, possession of an unlicensed firearm and housebreaking with intent to rob among other charges.
Möller’s wife, Carol-Ann Sowden Möller, accompanied by their children, friends and members of the public were also present in court on Thursday.
Defence lawyers Christopher Dube, Trevor Brockerhoff, Mese Tjturi and Titus Ipumbu are representing the other four accused.