Trial of Tokai forest murder accused sent to High Court

2017-01-18 15:09
Franziska Blöchliger. (Supplied to Netwerk24)

Franziska Blöchliger. (Supplied to Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - One of the four men arrested for the murder, rape, and robbery of teenager Franziska Blöchliger will soon go on trial in the Western Cape High Court.

Howard Oliver, 28, a married father of two, heard this after the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court turned down his bail application on Wednesday.

Oliver was expected to appear for a pre-trial hearing in the High Court on February 3.

The trial of his three co-accused was separated and would be heard in the lower court at a later stage.

Oliver claimed that, while he had robbed the 16-year-old Kalk Bay girl as she jogged through Tokai Forest on March 7, he had not killed her.

Magistrate Goolam Bawa found Oliver had failed to show exceptional circumstances warranting his release on bail.

READ: Franziska fought back in Tokai Forest attack, court hears

'Public trust'

He said Oliver had placed himself at the scene of the crime. Oliver had conceded that he robbed the girl for financial gain and sold her phone.

Oliver has three previous convictions - one for assault in 2007, theft in 2009, and robbery in 2011.

Bawa was of the opinion that Oliver was likely to commit a schedule one offence if released.

"Further, the court finds that given the extended media coverage on this case, his release will erode public trust, especially [considering] the admissions that he has already made."

Some members of the public smiled and seemed relieved by the court’s ruling.

Oliver’s lawyer, Monique Carstens, withdrew her services due to financial constraints. He would now apply for Legal Aid.

A post-mortem found that Franziska was strangled and sustained blunt force trauma.

Co-accused

At a previous appearance, it emerged that a second accused in the case, Jonathan Jonas - who allegedly had the gun that was used in Blöchliger's murder - was serving time in jail in connection with another case.

A third accused in the case, Daniel Easter, failed to appear in court on December 13, because he had allegedly been sick. A warrant for his arrest was issued.

Easter, who was allegedly in possession of Blöchliger's stolen cellphone following her murder, was released on R1 000 bail in 2016.

The fourth accused, Jerome Moses, who allegedly helped sell her cellphone, was out on bail.

Blöchliger was found naked and on her knees, with her neck twisted into an unnatural position.

According to police, a bra and T-shirt had been used to strangle her. One of her shoelaces was tied around her neck. She was bleeding from the face and genitals.

Read more on:    franziska blöchliger  |  cape town  |  crime

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