Police officer grilled for delaying murder investigation

State Prosecutor fight tooth and nail that case is not thrown out

Sharlien Tjambari

On Wednesday this week an accused in a murder case, Adam Ruben (31), almost walked free due to alleged negligence by the investigating officer in charge of the case, Llewellyn Fredericks.

Ruben allegedly murdered Desmond !Garibansen Renaldo /Awarab by stabbing him to death with a knife in November 2016, but when he appeared in the court on second appearance he was given bail of N$2 000. He remains free ever since and resides at Rehoboth.

The /Awarab family feels that Ruben does not even deserve to be free on bail,  as he murdered their child in cold blood.

According to the father of the deceased Ruben /Awarab, the case has been dragged on for so long. The accused is waiting to be appointed a legal representative.

On his previous court appearance, on 26 September, the state prosecutor representing the state, Dalon Quickfall, allegedly informed magistrate Conchita Olivier that the docket was not available because Fredericks has not submitted it to court. He (Fredericks) was out of town, so the case was remanded to 17 October-this week for the docket to be brought to court.

“Back then already we felt the investigating officer was playing games and intentionally delayed the case”, explained /Awarab.

This week, Fredericks informed the court that the only reason why the case could not be finalised was because of pending lab results of an analysis of DNA samples.

What raised questions is the fact that the accused was arrested in 2016, yet a blood specimen was only taken from the accused in August this year. “Why didn’t he obtain the blood specimen in November 2016 after the accused’s arrest?”

The clothes and the knife the accused used was only sent to the lab in 2017, the family of the victim alleges.

Fredericks told court he cannot remember the exact dates the series of events took place, claiming that he didn’t have any records in front of him.

Quickfall requested not to withdraw the case, as this was only a delay. “Our investigations are not finalised, and it is my duty to make sure that investigations are finalised. We can find a good approach to make sure that justice is served”.

Olivier then granted the state more time and adjourned the matter to 4 March 2019 for further investigations and to give the Fredericks enough time to get the lab results. “I must say I am embarrassed by the State. We are failing the deceased’s family for justice and we even fail the accused as well”, said Olivier.

The deceased family was concerned that the case might be struck from the roll, since the investigating officer did not have the lab results with him. Chances are there that this case might be withdrawn before it even goes to trial.

∙The Prosecutor-General, Martha Imalwa, expressed concern this week on the high number of criminal court cases stalling.

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