One of the four men arrested after the robbery, rape and murder of 16-year-old Franziska Blöchliger, has jumped bail and a warrant is out for his arrest.
Daniel Easter forfeited his R1 000 bail when he did not turn up at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday December 13. Magistrate Gulam Bower issued a warrant for his arrest.
Mr Easter, Howard Oliver, Jerome Moses and Jonathan Johannes face various charges relating to the attack on the teenager while she was jogging in Tokai Park on Monday March 7.
Meanwhile, missing DNA evidence has been blamed for the latest postponement in the trial.
Defence attorney Monique Carstens, acting for three of the four accused, asked for the postponement, citing “exceptional circumstances”.
She said she disagreed with the State’s assertion that all DNA tests had been concluded and the results handed to the court. DNA evidence was integral to the case and there were still 44 outstanding results, according to the defence.
The trial has seen several postponements (“Angry outbursts as trial postponed again,” Bulletin, November 24).
On Tuesday December 6, Mr Oliver appeared for a bail application, which was postponed from Friday December 9, when a statement by Warrant Officer Jan Coetzee, opposing the bail application, was read out in court, describing Mr Oliver as someone prone to commit crime.
He said he believed Mr Oliver’s bail application was an attempt to evade prosecution and that he would skip bail. Describing him as a danger to the public, Warrant Officer Coetzee’s statement cited a long list of previous charges and convictions against him, including assaults against a 15-year-old, several domestic violence interdicts, petty thefts, business and house robberies and drug-related arrests going back to 2008.
The court also heard gruesome details, contained in Warrant Officer Coetzee’s affidavit, about how Franziska’s body had been found.
According to the affidavit, Mr Oliver was seen by witnesses in Spaanschemat River Road, heading towards Tokai before Franziska was reported missing. He had admitted to tying Franziska’s hands behind her back with her running shoe laces and taking off her pants. According to the affidavit, Franziska’s body was found on her knees. Her face was in the sand with her neck twisted in an awkward position. One of her shoelaces had been used to tie her hands behind her back and the other was around her neck. Sand was found in her throat and DNA evidence under fingernails.
However, the affidavit said that DNA evidence had been found nowhere else on her body and none of the suspects had been linked to that found under her nails.
The affidavit also stated that Franziska’s father had told police that his daughter was fit and strong and a “fighter”.
The case has been postponed to Wednesday December 28.