Rundu lawyer in the dock twice in one day, including on a rape charge

Rundu lawyer in the dock twice in one day, including on a rape charge

A Rundu-based defence lawyer, Vernon Lutibezi applied for bail in the Rundu Magistrate’s Court for bail on Monday after he was arrested for allegedly raping his 13-year-old relative last week.
Earlier on Monday he appeared in the same court on an unrelated charge of malicious damage to property, for which he is already on bail.
In a bail hearing that lasted the entire afternoon, the state argued that it would not be in the interest of the administration of justice or in the public interest to grant bail to Lutibezi.
The absence of the complainant, the mother of the 13-year-old girl, was a point fiercely contested.
An investigating officer informed the court that the mother was traumatised and was not ready to inform her supervisors, of the incident, to be granted leave.
The mother’s work commitments does not allow her to just leave.
Advocate Oriental Sibeya, who appeared on behalf Lutibezi, told the court that his client will be prejudiced as he would not be able to appear again on behalf of the accused as he has other cases.
He also questioned the state’s assertion that there is strong evidence in the rape case, saying that it's a he-said she-said case with no other evidence.
An investigation officer also alleged that the victim’s mother informer police that since the arrest of the lawyer last week, Lutibezi had called her several times asking her not to apposed bail.
Magistrate Hellen Olaiya, who heard arguments until around 19h00, said she will make her ruling on Tuesday.
The accused is still in custody.