Lawyer for Franziska's alleged killer withdraws

2017-05-15 16:52
Franziska Blöchliger. (Supplied to Netwerk24)

Franziska Blöchliger. (Supplied to Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – The lawyer representing the man accused of killing teenager Franziska Blöchliger withdrew his services on Monday.

Ken Klopper told the Western Cape High Court his defence had been based on a “scenario” Howard Oliver had given him.

“After consulting with my client, a new scenario was given. The end result is that I will be ethically obliged to withdraw legal representation in this matter.

“This is not the matter of a little admission, but in essence a different scenario to the one that I was originally given.”

Oliver is on trial on a charge of killing Blöchliger, 16, while she was jogging in the Tokai forest on March 7, 2016. Oliver confessed to robbing her, but claimed he left her alive.

Klopper learnt of this new “scenario” during an adjournment Judge Kate Savage granted him to speak to Oliver.

“I understand my client would want me to stay on, but I cannot continue under the new instruction,” Klopper said. 

He did not explain what Oliver told him and declined to provide comment following court proceedings.

Savage postponed the trial to Wednesday. She instructed that transcripts of proceedings be made available to Oliver’s new lawyer.

State witness Daniel Easter was expected to testify on Monday afternoon. A warrant for his arrest was issued on Thursday after he failed to appear in court. 

Prosecutor Lenro Badenhorst told the court Easter failed to arrive as his house had burnt down.

Savage released Easter from custody on condition that he appear in court on Wednesday morning.

Oliver would remain in custody until his next court appearance.

On Monday morning, community neighbourhood watch member Jared van Dyk testified that he found Blöchliger’s body still warm on the afternoon of March 7, 2016.

He said the search for her body was focused in the forest itself, but he went to go look in a fynbos veld nearby. When he found a turquoise takkie, he knew Blöchliger was dead. 

"I got a 'chilled' feeling that I was not looking for a little girl anymore, not looking for a little girl who is going to call back at me,” he said. 

He discovered her body soon afterwards when a woman walking her dog found the teenager and screamed.

"The way she screamed still gives me nightmares," Van Wyk said.

Read more on:    franziska blöchliger  |  cape town  |  crime

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