Startling testimony in Breytenbach hearing

2012-08-06 12:11

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) only accessed deleted information on senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach’s computer after her disciplinary hearing had started.

This was the startling testimony of NPA IT expert Eudele Swarts in Breytenbach’s disciplinary hearing, which resumed today.

Wim Trengove SC, representing Breytenbach, asked Swarts when he had received permission from the NPA to retrieve back-up information from their server so as to see what had been deleted from her laptop.

Swarts replied that permission was given on July 26 – when Breytenbach’s disciplinary hearing had already been under way for two days.

“Oh, so it was just the other day,” replied Trengove.

Under cross-examination from Trengove, Swarts also conceded that it had always been possible to access the deleted information from the NPA server and said that the server had never crashed.

Trengove asked: “So her stuff could have been accessed on any date after May 2, the regional server never crashed?”

Swarts replied that this was correct, to which Trengove responded, “I see”.

This was in stark contrast to the testimony of lead investigator Hercules Wasserman, who had said it was imperative for the NPA to have Breytenbach’s laptop because they were experiencing problems with their server.

Several of the charges against Breytenbach related to the deletion of information from her laptop, which Swarts said was “shredded” and could therefore not be retrieved.

Criminal charges have also been laid against Breytenbach for allegedly tampering with or destroying NPA information.

The hearing is set to continue this afternoon, with Jaco Venter, a forensic IT expert, testifying about a forensic report on the laptop.

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