ERNST Lichtenstrasser, the man accused of gunning down two top executives of the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT), has been instructed to maintain his new council provided by legal aid after his first lawyer, Trevor Brockerhoff, stopped representing him as he couldn’t keep up with legal fees.
Lichenstrasser, a former lecturer, is accused of opening fire and gunning down Eckhardt Mueller and Heinz Heimo Hellwig, who were the executive director and deputy director of NIMT, respectively, at the institution’s campus.
The Directorate of Legal Aid appointed in-house lawyer Albert Titus to represent Lichtenstrasser, 59, during his trial in the Windhoek High Court as it could not grant Lichenstrasser his request to maintain his former lawyer due to a moratorium placed on the outsourcing of legal council, as well as a lack of funds.
Legal Aid further noted that it cannot outsource private lawyers to clients, adding that a client is entitled to legal presentation but it is not up to their discretion to specify which legal council they should be provided with.
Touching on the review of Lichenstrasser’s refusal to engage with an in-house lawyer, Judge Christie Liebenberg noted that it would not be in the accused’s best interest to be prosecuted on the matter without legal council and urged Lichenstrasser to consult with the newly appointed in-house lawyer.
He added that the court has no power to instruct or specify which legal council represents Lichenstrasser, but it can advised him during representation.
Lichenstrasser bemoaned that he would be throwing away a year and a half of working with Brokerhoff, but stated that he will maintain the services of the in-house lawyer while trying to acquire a private council.
The case was postponed to 15 February and Lichenstrasser was remanded in custody.