THE 57-year-old Ernst Josef Lichtenstrasser, who claims to be a former People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) fighter who enjoys veteran status in Namibia, made his first appearance in the Karibib Magistrate’s Court on charges of contravening the Namibian Arms and Ammunition Act.
Lichtenstarasser was arrested in Karibib a week ago when investigators identified him as a person of interest in the double murder of the 72-year-old Eckhart Mueller and the 60-year-old Heimo Hellwig last Monday at the Arandis Campus of the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT).
He was held for questioning by detectives at the Walvis Bay police station until Thursday afternoon.
Upon his apprehension in Karibib last Tuesday evening, Lichtenstrasser had ammunition in his possession for which he could not give an explanation or produce a license for the corresponding firearm.
He was rearrested on charges of possession of unlicensed ammunition shortly after police set him free as a person of interest in the double murder at Arandis.
During 2013, Lichtenstrasser appeared in the same court while incarcerated for an extended period of time on similar charges when police discovered an arms cache on a farm in the Karibib district.
The suspect was arrested in Tsumeb a short while after the discovery of, amongst others, two unlicensed semi-automatic rifles and a large amount of ammunition of different calibres on the farm Tsaobis.
When lichtenstrasser was apprehended in Tsumeb in connection with the illegal arms cache in Karibib, the arresting officers discovered an explosive device resembling a hand grenade in his car.
During his appearance in the Karibib Magistrate’s Court this morning, Lichtenstrasser was informed about the charges pending against him and he was also informed about his rights with regards to legal representation.
Lichtenstrasser indicated to the court that he intends to solicit the services of a private legal representative.
Bail was denied to allow the police time to investigate the matter before remanding Licthenstrasser in custody until 27 May this year.
Acting Magistrate Monalisa Hays reminded the accused persons that it is his right to approach the court with a formal bail application in the meantime.