HIGH Court Judge Christie Liebenberg this morning handed down a guilty verdict in the double murder trial of Lukas Nikodemus, the man who two years ago fatally shot two of his girlfriends in his car before desecrating their bodies by setting fire to the remains at a rubbish dump near the Pionierspark cemetery in Windhoek.
Judge Liebenberg also found that Nikodemus defeated the course of justice after the brutal murder by attempting to destroy evidence by setting the bodies alight at the refuge site in Pionierspark.
The two murder victims, Clemencia de Wee, 23, and Johanie Naruses, 29, were last seen at a bar with Nikodemus. They were each romantically involved with him although none of them knew about the other.
Judge Liebenberg while reading the judgment recounted that at the time of the double murder, a security guard at the cemetery discovered the smoldering human remains under burned out tyres. Detectives and found a sim card and a phone that was burnt beyond recognition on the scene. The phone and the card eventually linked Nikodemus to the crime scene.
Throughout the trial, Nikodemus maintained his innocence, citing that his friend, only identified as Benny, was responsible for the double murder because he lent his car to the other person on night of the heinous crime.
This evidence was dismissed by Judge Liebenberg who said Nikodemus added the information as an afterthought two years after the fact, because he did not say anything about Benny when he was arrested.
While recounting the chain of events Judge Liebenberg sated that traces of blood were found in Nikodemus’s vehicle which the police found at a shack in Katutura. Nikodemus led detectives to the car after his arrest.
Judge Liebenberg also stated that footprints found at the scene matched Nikodemus’s and that he washed his clothes when the police arrived at his house. Upon his arrest, a gun was found hidden between his bed and mattress in his mother’s house, leading to the fourth charge of failing to lock away a firearm being dismissed.
“The accused was not an impressive witness. His statements are marred by contradictions and improbabilities. The implication of Benny was imaginary and fabricated evidence and cannot reasonably be true,” the judge ruled.
Nikodemus was convicted on the two counts of murder, as well as the count of defeating the course of justice.
Upon being found guilty on the various counts, Nikodemus fired his state sponsored legal representative, Vernon Lutibezi and requested the Court to allow him time to apply for another Legal Aid lawyer. The matter was then postponed until Wednesday morning to await a response from Legal Aid.