Grim details emerge how Mueller and Hellwig died on morning of 15 April

Sharlien Tjambari

Ernst Lichtenstrasser (58), the alleged NiMT-shooter, will have to wait another week and three days to hear whether he will be granted bail. Magistrate Conchita Olivier made an order to this effect on Tuesday at the conclusion of Lichtenstrasser’s bail application.

Grim details emerged during the bail application hearing of the brutal murders and also how lucky an employee of NiMT, going by the surname Koekemoer, was by being absent. Koekemoer used to drive with Mueller and Hellwig to Arandis every day, but on that day drove in another car. He would probably have been dead, had he been with Mueller and Hellwig.
After considering witness statements and hearing arguments from Trevor Brockerhoff (Lichtenstrasser’ lawyer) and the Deputy Prosecutor-General Advocate Antonia Verhoef (Representing the State), Olivier adjourned the hearing to 24 July for judgement.
Lichtenstrasser on the morning of 15 April this year gunned down Eckhart Mueller (72), the Director of NiMT and his Deputy Director, Heimo Hell-wig (60), as they arrived for work at Arandis.
Advocate Verhoef insisted the State has a strong case against the accused Lichtenstrasser. Additionally, Advocate Verhoef argued the release on bail of Lichtenstrasser would not be in the best interest of the public.
Verhoef rejected Lichtenstrasser’s testimony as inconsistent and added the confession which Lichtenstrasser claims was taken from him under duress is not the backbone of the State’s case. “It is a mere bonus”, Advocate Verhoef told the court.
Reinhardt Maletzky, the investigating officer in this case, was the first and only witness to take the witness stand during the bail hearing.
Maletzky described as untrue claims by Lichtenstrasser that he was not informed of his rights and that he was not granted contact with his family and his lawyer. The accused was always informed of his rights and was assisted from the first day to make calls. In fact, said Maletzky, most of the calls made was from a police officer’s cell phone.
Maletzky further testified Lichtenstrasser opted to confess to the crime right after the police informed him that the spent 9mm pistol cartridges found at the scene of the murders at Arandis matched cartridges found at his [Lichtenstrasser’s] house at Otavi.
“The confession was given voluntarily and the accused was in the right state of mind when he gave us his confession. He told us he was the shooter”, explained Maletzky.
According to Maletzky, the accused confessed that on 15 April around 04:00 he drove closer to Arandis after he spent the night in the desert. He saw Mueller and Hellwig turning off to Arandis from the direction of Swakopmund in Mueller’s Mercedes Benz. He then followed them and when they parked in front of the NIMT head office he went to park his car behind the offices.
In his confession Lichtenstrasser further mentioned he told Mueller and Hellwig he just wanted to talk. Their responses angered him, he drew the pistol and shot Hellwig twice in the stomach and once in the head. He then shot Mueller four times in the stomach and one bullet to the head.
“He even told me he was glad that Koekemoer was not there that day, because he was a nice person”, said Maletzky.
The accused will make his second court appearance on the murder charges in the Swakopmund magistrate’s court on 24 July, the same day he expects a verdict on his bail application.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login