MAGISTRATE Conchita Olivier dismissed the formal bail application of double murder accused Ernst Josef Lichtenstrasser in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court after reading a lengthy judgement in which she found the public cannot be left at the mercy of perpetrators that has a total disregard human life.
“It would not be in the interest of Justice or the interest of the public if bail was granted to the accused person. The offence is very serious and the evidence of the State proves it has a very strong prima facie case against the accused person.”
Magistrate Olivier stated in her judgement that the escalation of violent crimes in the region also needs to be considered when bail is granted to accused persons.
Lichtenstrasser faces two counts of murder, one count of being in possession of an unlicensed fire arm, one count of being in possession of ammunition and a count of attempting to defeat the course of Justice.
The State opposed bail on the grounds that it has a very strong prima facie case against Lichtenstrasser and that it would not be in the interest of the public to grant bail. Magistrate Olivier found that the circumstantial and forensic evidence and with regards to the weight of the public interest and in the administration of Justice that bail could not be granted.
With regards to the accused person being a flight risk the magistrate found that the court is not willing to take the risk of the accused person absconding and not standing his trial.
Magistrate Olivier also found that the investigation in the matter is not completed yet and that one of the investigating officers indicated that more persons who might have been accessories to the callous crime after the fact might still be added to the matter. She found further that the accused person did not convince her that he would not interfere with witnesses or evidence.
The magistrate found that the court would not be able to grant bail on the grounds offered up by the State and dismissed the application.
Magistrate Olivier granted an application by the state that Lichtenstrasser be transferred to the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility where he be remanded in custody while awaiting trial before postponing the matter to 27 September this year.