Accused cop denies targeting deceased
Windhoek – Police officer, Justine Munsu Simataa, 31, yesterday refuted claims by prosecution witnesses that he walked up to the window of the car his victim was in, took aim and deliberately fired several shots at him (victim).
Simataa was testifying in his own defence on charges of murder, attempted murder, alternatively negligent discharge of a firearm, malicious damage to property and discharge of a firearm in a public place. He is charged with murder with direct intent for the shooting of Firmino Fabrice Mael at a local bar in Khomasdal.
The attempted murder charge and its alternative is for shooting Millikan Likando at least three times while the malicious damage to property charge is because of the shots he fired into the car of the deceased.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges at the start of his trial in May and is free on bail of N$2 000.
Narrating the events, Simataa yesterday said he was at the bar drinking at the counter. According to him he saw the deceased and his friends in the company of an acquaintance of him when he entered the bar early that evening.
He said he proceeded to the bar where he sat consuming several beers into the early hours of the next morning.
While seated at the bar, someone approached him to make space to purchase drinks at the bar, Simataa said. However, on this issue there is some confusion with Simataa saying the person that approached him was Ricky Likando, while several state witnesses said it was the deceased. But, according to Simataa when he stepped back to make space for Likando, the deceased offered him a “bunch” of money, but he declined to take the money.
Apparently offended by his refusal to take the money, Simataa said, the deceased spoke to him in a vulgar manner and told him ‘you don’t know me, I will fuck you up’ in addition to calling him a ‘mother fucker’. It is not clear what happened from then on as the accused then explained that he went outside with one of the state witnesses, Lee Golden, who wanted a favour from him, when the deceased and his friends emerged from the bar and started beating him with fists and kicks.
According to him he fell to the ground and while lying on the ground he thought the persons who assaulted him were trying to get away in their car and he took out his gun that was concealed in his trousers and shot randomly at the car.
The deceased was hit eight times according to the post-mortem report. He denied the testimonies of Genevieve Pearl Fisher and Lee Golden that after the assault he got up, walked to the security guard, fetched something from him and walked up to the driver’s side window of the car, coolly pointed his gun at Mael and fired off the shots.
On the question from Judge Nate Ndauendapo why the witnesses would testify something that did not happen, Simataa said he do not know, but it may be what they thought they saw. He could also not answer Judge Ndauendapo’s question as to why he shot the deceased when he clearly was no longer in danger, saying “maybe I still feared for my life.”
The trial continues today with Simataa under cross- examination from State Advocate Constance Moyo. Mbanga Siyomunji is appearing for Simataa.