Selebi trial continues

2010-04-08 09:35

The defence in the Jackie Selebi corruption trial is expected to

wrap up its arguments calling for the former police chief’s acquittal in the

Johannesburg High Court on Thursday morning.

This comes after lengthy arguments by defence counsel Jaap Cilliers

on Wednesday, who said Selebi was entitled to an acquittal on his corruption and

defeating the ends of justice charges as the state had failed to prove his

guilt.

‘Conflicting

evidence’

He said the state based its case on an “unreliable” witness whose

evidence contradicted information contained in the charge sheet.

“They [the state], through their own witness, destroyed their whole

case. We submit that the case starts with false allegations against the

accused... and that the State disingenuously made a case without substantiating

facts.

“The witness [Glenn Agliotti] deliberately misled the court... his

evidence contradicted the charge sheet. The State’s case is completely

unreliable,” Cilliers said.

The prosecution also failed to prove the existence of a corrupt

relationship between Selebi and Agliotti, a convicted drug trafficker, he

said.

“Agliotti, in his own evidence, said he had applied for various

tenders from police but never got any. Isn’t that the possible indication that

there was no corrupt relationship?

“There is no evidence in the state’s case indicating any unlawful

conduct by the accused... no reasonable court will find evidence of an improper

or corrupt relationship. The accused is entitled to an acquittal on the basis

that the witness [Agliotti] has said he [Selebi] never received a bribe.”

Cilliers also questioned charges of defeating the ends of justice,

saying the prosecution had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Selebi

showed Agliotti classified information. Agliotti previously said Selebi showed

him a National Intelligence Agency draft report and a UK customs office report

in July 2006.

Contestation

Cilliers was expected to close his arguments during the morning

proceedings. The state would then oppose the application for Selebi’s

acquittal.

In its heads of argument, the state argues that “the fact that

there may be discrepancies between Agliotti’s evidence and that of other

witnesses is no ground to discharge the state’s case.

“It is the state’s argument that we have done more than present

evidence upon which the accused might reasonably be convicted. In our view, we

respectfully submit, that we have made out a prima facie case that the accused

is guilty of corruption and defeating the ends of justice.

“Agliotti clearly had knowledge of the reports and he indicated

that this knowledge was as a result of the accused having shown him the

reports,” the document reads.



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