Selebi loses battle to remove judge

2009-10-30 12:24

FORMER national police commissioner Jackie Selebi lost his bid

today to remove a senior judge presiding over his corruption trial in the South

Gauteng High Court.

Judge Meyer Joffe dismissed all 19 complaints Selebi made in his

affidavit to have him removed on the basis that he was biased against him.

Selebi had argued that Judge Joffe was “hostile and acted in a rude

manner” when he dealt with his legal representative Jaap Cilliers, SC.

“I did not find any single complaint that show actual bias or give

rise that I should recuse myself,” the judge said, adding he admits that he made

a mistake when he said that the state’s star witness Glenn Agliotti funded a

“complimentary” dinner in France for Selebi at a tune of R30 000 in 2004.

Instead, Agliotti said the dinner was for Selebi to lobby support to be

appointed head of international police body, Interpol.

Cilliers had told the court that Selebi was well within his rights

to bring the application on suspicion of bias by the judge. “The applicant

(Selebi) submits that there was some hostility to the defence team. I have

practised for many years, I don’t have any difficulty with rude remarks from the

bench but he (Joffe) does.”

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel opposed Selebi’s recusal application

saying it lacked any merit for Judge Joffe to be recused.

Nel added that it was in the interests of society and the state to

ensure that the court resisted all manner of pressure.

The trial will resume on Monday when cross-examination of Agliotti

continues.


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