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Cop gets 25 years for nightclub shooting

WINDHOEK, 20 APR (NAMPA) - A police constable who was last month found guilty of killing a man in a shooting incident outside a nightclub in Khomasdal four and half years ago, has been sent to jail for 25 years.
The 31-year-old Justine Munsu Simataa was on 31 March 2017 found guilty by High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo on the first count of murder with direct intent to kill in the incident that claimed the life of Windhoek resident, Firmino Fabrice Mael, at nightclub ‘Image’ in the capital on 26 October 2012.
Simataa was also found guilty of attempted murder, malicious damage to property and negligent discharge of a firearm in a public place.
The attempted murder charge is for shooting the deceased person's friend, Millikan Likando, at least three times while the malicious damage to property charge is because of the shots Simataa fired at the car of the deceased and his friends.
On the first count of murder with intention to kill, Simataa was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment of which five years were wholly suspended on condition that he is not found guilty on a charge of murder or attempted murder.
He got a prison sentence of 15 years on the second count of attempted murder and two years on the third count of malicious damage to property.
Furthermore, Simataa was sentenced to one year imprisonment on the last count of negligent discharge of a firearm in a public place.
The sentences imposed on the last three counts were all ordered to run concurrently with the sentence of 25 years imprisonment imposed on the first count of murder with intention to kill.
In addition, Simataa was declared unfit to possess a firearm for 20 years upon the completion of his long custodial punishment.
Handing down the sentences, Ndauendapo said there is no doubt that murder and attempted murder are serious offences that warrant stiff sentences.
He also said Mael was brutally murdered while in the prime of his life, at the age of 25.
“The deceased died at the hands of a police officer who was entrusted with the protection of the members of the public,” the judge said.
In his evidence in mitigation of sentencing in the presence of his State-funded defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji, Simataa apologised to Mael’s family, saying he wholeheartedly regrets the shooting.
“I had no intention to kill the deceased,” he said.
Simataa also told the court that he was sorry for the suffering he caused the deceased's family and friends.
“I had sleepless nights since the day of the shooting incident that claimed the life of the deceased as a result of my actions.”
Simataa shot Mael in the chest and head eight times, according to the post-mortem report presented before court as evidence.
State Advocate Constance Moyo appeared for the prosecution.
Siyomuinji represented Simataa on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.
Simataa is a first offender with no previous record of a criminal offence.
He grew up in the care of his single mother and uncle at Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Region.
(NAMPA)
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