Forgetful witness: I'm only human

2013-04-09 21:05

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Cape Town - A forgetful witness in the corruption trial of police Captain Esmeralda Bailey told the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Tuesday he was only human.

"Your worship, I am only human," Waleed Diedricks said under cross-examination by defence attorney William Booth.

Bailey has pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, possession or use of drugs, and defeating the ends of justice.

On the corruption charge, Bailey is alleged to have given Diedricks a bag containing a police uniform with cap and bullet-proof vest, and a transparent plastic bank bag containing ammunition.

Diedricks was to have delivered the bag and its contents to a buyer for R4 500.

Diedricks did so unaware the buyer was in fact part of a police undercover operation, and both he and Bailey were arrested minutes later.

For his part in the saga, Diedricks entered into a plea bargain last year, and was given a prison sentence, suspended on condition he assisted in the investigation against Bailey and testified for the prosecution.

Diedricks was adamant he had not signed any documents with the State prior to his own trial.

However, when Booth produced the plea-bargain agreement he signed, Diedricks was bewildered and said he had forgotten about it.

Pressed about his forgetfulness, Diedricks blurted: "I forgot about it, I am only human."

Booth said the plea agreement had been of great significance to Diedricks as, in terms of it, he avoided a prison sentence for corruption, if he helped the investigation.

"How can you forget such an important agreement?" Booth asked.

Diedricks replied: "I forgot because I am human."

He told the court how, at the request of the police uniform's "buyer", he approached Bailey in an internet cafe to ask if she had a uniform to sell.

She agreed after Diedricks offered her R4 500 if the uniform included ammunition and a bullet-proof vest.

He said Bailey was moving home at the time, and he accompanied her from the internet cafe to her apartment, which was next door to his own.

In her apartment she asked him to remove her name from the police cap, and told him not to inform anyone about the deal.

"The accused said she did not want anyone to know about the uniform," he added.

The trial continues on Thursday.

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