THE 57-year-old Ernst Josef Lichtenstrasser has finally been revealed as the person accused of the cold blooded murder of the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (Nimt) executive director, Eckhart Mueller and his deputy, Heimo Hellwig at the institution’s premises in Arandis almost a month ago.
Lichtenstrasser arrived at the Sakopmund Magistrate’s Court under heavy police guard for his first court appearance court this morning, where Magistrate Nelao Brown formally informed the accused person that he is charged with the double murder. He was also informed about his rights with regards to legal representation, but Lichtenstrasser informed the court that he will solicit the services of a private legal representative.
State prosecutor Maria Shilongo informed the court that the state opposes bail on the grounds of the seriousness of the matter, the high public interest and to allow the police to complete their investigation into the murder.
When he was allowed to address the court, Lichtenstrasser informed the court that he has been on a hunger strike since his arrest on 22 April. He stated that he is protesting against the conditions of his incarceration.
The accused person stated that the holding cells are overcrowded and unhygienic. He also stated that he suffers from a medical condition and has to see his physician on a regular basis, which is impossible in the holding cells of the Walvis Bay Police Station.
In this regard, the state prosecutor appealed to the court to allow the accused person to be moved to the Walvis Bay Correctional Facility.
Magistrate Brown allowed the application and ordered that Lichtenstrasser be incarcerated at the Walvis Bay Prison.
Lichtenstrasser was remanded in custody until 24 July 2019 when he will make his next appearance in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court.