State under fire in Agliotti trial

2010-11-17 12:42

The contradictory nature of the evidence contained in the testimony and in the statements of various witnesses in the trial of Brett Kebble murder accused Glenn Agliotti showed that there was a “conspiracy” to “falsely implicate” him in the matter, the High Court in Johannesburg has heard.

“Any attempt to manipulate the evidence of the state witnesses so as to ensure that they testify in chief about matters that are not covered by their statements, more particularly when they were made in terms of the provisions of section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Act, is unconstitutional and renders this trial unfair,” said Agliotti’s defence counsel, Laurance Hodes.

He charged that the state ought to have come to court with their “hands clean”. Instead, the trial was characterised by “missing statements” and “several people said they had made several statements”, yet they still gave a different version when testifying in court.

The state’s key witness, security boss Clinton Nassif, made his final statement in March 2010.

“It takes four years to compile a supplementary statement to give more detail? It’s unheard of, my Lord,” Hodes said.

He also charged that it was “sinister” that the state, in its heads of argument opposing the discharge application, did not once make reference to the court record.

“I challenge them to explain why,” Hodes said.

He said the record made “interesting reading” as it showed that Nassif was a “massive liar”.

“It’s clear that every witness’s testimony is tainted.”

Hodes was arguing for an application to discharge Agliotti from the four counts against him.

“The evidence of Nassif, (Nigel) McGurk and (Alexi) Christopher falls to be disregarded as being contradictory, contradicted by other objective facts such as telephone records, and simply is not credible.

“The organs of the state that withheld statements and documentation until just before the commencement of the trial and during the proceedings as well as to date has resulted in an abuse of the fundamental right of the accused, further resulting in an unfair trial.

“There is no evidence that the accused committed the offences that he is accused of in the indictment,” Hodes argued.

Argument continues.

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