October 8, 2004

Severe new crime law approved

Government has now "officially declared war on criminals" by passing a new Criminal Procedures Act that will impose life imprisonment without any reprieve on murderers, robbers, traitors and rapists. "Those with criminal minds, even if they are millionaires, will be locked up and will never see the sun again," Justice Minister Albert Kawana said. Besides imposing life sentences for serious crime without the possibility of parole, probation or reduction in sentence, new minimum sentences have also been set for other crimes.
Perpetrators of murder will face life in jail if they have killed a law enforcement officer on duty, murdered while attempting to rape or rob, or murdered with pre-meditation. Repeated rape, rape of a child or mentally disabled person or rape involving a weapon will earn the accused a life sentence. Robbery involving the use of a dangerous weapon and the theft of a motor vehicle will also now carry the country's maximum criminal sentence. If offences of treason, murder, robbery and rape are committed in any other circumstances, the perpetrator will be sentenced to a minimum of 25 years before parole, probation or remission of sentence will be considered. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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