Shaik: Judgment reserved

2007-05-24 17:20
Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court reserved judgment on Thursday on an application by Schabir Shaik for leave to appeal his conviction on two counts of corruption and one of fraud, his 15-year prison sentence and the seizure of his assets.

The court had taken into account the arguments by Shaik's counsel, Martin Brassey and Nirmal Singh, and counsel for the State, Wim Trengove, said Chief Justice Pius Langa.

It had also taken into account an objection by Trengove to what he claimed were two new arguments brought by Singh for the first time late on Thursday afternoon in his reply to the State's submissions.

The State has argued that Shaik should have spoken up when the case first went to court, or at least when it was before the Supreme Court of Appeal if he was unhappy about the way the trial was being conducted.

It has submitted that none of Shaik's contentions are constitutional matters of substance, or issues connected with decisions on constitutional matters.

'Shaik was mistried'

In oral argument on Wednesday, Shaik's counsel told the court he had been mistried. He contended that it had been unfair to try him separately from African National Congress deputy president Jacob Zuma, with whom he was found to have a corrupt relationship.

It further held that there were irregularities in the prosecution, which had confused its role with that of the investigators.

Shaik is doing his time in the Westville Prison, where he was taken on Tuesday, after lengthy stays in prison and private hospitals for hypertension and other high blood pressure-related illness.

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