Agliotti case postponed on intertwining with Selebi’s

2010-02-03 12:34

GLENN Agliotti’s trial for the alleged murder of mining magnate Brett Kebble was postponed until July 26 in the High Court in Johannesburg today.

The prosecution and defence agreed at a pre-trial conference yesterday that it would be in the interest of justice to wait for the finalisation of the trial of former police chief Jackie Selebi.

Agliotti is a State’s witness in Selebi’s corruption case.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel, who is also acting in the Selebi matter, said it would be difficult to finalise Agliotti’s case before the resumption of Selebi’s trial on the first of next month.

“It would be irresponsible to start with this trial and drop it to work on Selebi’s,” said Nel.

Agliotti could be called to testify again in the Selebi trial and if both cases ran concurrently, his court appearances could clash.

Agliotti’s defence team did not oppose the postponement, agreeing that if the cases ran concurrently, the prosecution would be in a
difficult position.

Judge Frans Kgomo found that although it was not to the court’s liking, the two cases were intertwined and a postponement was necessary.

“This is an extraordinary situation. The court wishes to resolve cases as quickly as possible to avoid witnesses getting restless and maybe losing interest in the case.

“However, after listening to the prosecution argue the case’s extraordinary circumstances, a final postponement will be granted, ” said Kgomo, emphasising that this would be a final postponement.

The defence and prosecution teams indicated that they were ready to proceed with the trial, but that the case’s “unique” circumstances had forced them to opt for a postponement.

Agliotti, a convicted drug trafficker, faces a count of murder and another of conspiracy to commit murder.

Kebble died in September 2005.

A co-accused, John Stratton, is yet to be extradited from Australia to face the charge.

Agliotti’s bail was reduced from R350 000 to R200 000 on condition that he use the R150 000 towards his legal fees.
His bail conditions were also relaxed.

He may now, with prior written approval of investigating officer Andrew Leask, apply for his passport, which was handed in as an exhibit in Selebi’s case.

Kgomo said: “If you intend travelling abroad, you my apply in writing and Leask has to give you permission. You must provide Leask with your address while abroad.”

Agliotti should also notify Leask of his daily movements and should be contactable and available on his cellphone at all times.

Kgomo ordered the prosecution and defence to work on a draft of Agliotti’s amended bail conditions to deal with their finer details.

He would later sign the draft.
 

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