Twist in city official’s trial

2010-12-03 00:00

THE trial of Msunduzi municipal official Kevin Perumal (42), who was charged in 2007 for alleged abuse of travel and subsistence claims to the tune of R30 000, could be further delayed.

This followed a disclosure yesterday by Perumal’s attorney, Naren Sangham, that he finds himself to be a potential witness in the trial after it emerged that the prosecution intends using information obtained against Perumal during what was termed a “without prejudice” discussion between the defence, the state and the investigating officer at Sangham’s offices on September 26, 2007.

State advocate Rema Mahabeer said that as far as the prosecution is concerned the meeting was held to discuss “representations” by Perumal in a bid to secure a withdrawal of the charges.

This was disputed by Sangham, who said if that were the case he would have supplied representations in writing.

In light of the dispute and the potential ethical conflict that could result in the trial, regional magistrate Chris van Vuuren postponed the case until Monday to enable the prosecution and defence to decide the way forward.

It appeared to him the only way to resolve the matter was either for the state to abandon its intention to rely on the evidence in question, or for Sangham to withdraw as Perumal’s attorney, which will result in another long delay before the trial gets underway, he said.

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