Suspected murderer denies being at murder scene

• By Uaueza Kanguatjivi

FORMER Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) employee, Ernst Lichenstrasse (61) who is accused of murdering the NIMT Executive Director Eckhart Mueller and his deputy Heimo Hellwig four years ago distanced himself from the crime when he informed the High Court he was miles away from the crime scene as he was on a desert meditation trip east of Arandis at the time of the dual assassinations.

Mueller and Hellwig were shot dead killed in the Erongo region by a 9-millimetre

Beretta Pistol.

Lichenstrasse characterised the events of his whereabouts when he testified in his own defence in the High Court on Tuesday a month after the state closed its case in his trial before judge Christie Liebeberg.

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Lichenstrasse said on April 14 2019 he left his Otavi home after a dispute with his wife.

“I took with me my carrier bag and gym bag, in it was ammunition, my gun gloves and toiletries. I didn’t pack any clothing after the argument with my wife.

Whenever I embark on a longer journey I take my firearm with me, call it a force of habit.

I took my 38-special revolver and ammunition.

According to Lichenstrasse he decided to drive to Swakopmund and to have a meeting with a group of NIMT colleagues who, like him, were disgruntled about the management of the institution.

He said he decided to combine his meeting with a trip to the desert.

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Lichenstrasse informed the court he began feeling tired and realised it was no longer safe on the road between 21H00 and 22H00. He turned in a southern direction, drove about 10 km before dropping his seat and sleeping there.

He recounted that he slowly drove 20 km into the direction of Spitzkoppe where he found a rocky outcrop and decided to spend the night there.

On April 16, he woke up feeling extremely refreshed and rejuvenated.