Lawyer: Breytenbach didn’t delete evidence

2012-07-25 14:37
Glynnis Breytenbach (Liza van Deventer, Beeld)

Glynnis Breytenbach (Liza van Deventer, Beeld)

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Pretoria - Claiming evidence was deleted from suspended NPA prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach's laptop was "reckless and misleading", her lawyer said on Wednesday.

"It's a highly incriminating statement to make... it was reckless and misleading," Wim Trengove said at her disciplinary hearing in Pretoria.

He was cross-examining Hercules Wasserman, acting senior manager of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) integrity management unit.

Wasserman told the hearing on Tuesday: "A forensic report... found that certain evidence was intentionally destroyed and deleted from the laptop."

508 files deleted

Trengove asked on Wednesday how Wasserman could have known that what was deleted was evidence.

Wasserman said 508 files were deleted, but the forensic report indicated these were not retrievable so it was not possible to know their content.

"You had no basis for your evidence that what was deleted was evidence," Trengove said.

He said Wasserman had not told the hearing that nothing had been deleted from the laptop before April 30 - the day Breytenbach was suspended.

A mirror copy of the hard drive was made in the presence of two NPA officials, before files "of a personal nature" were deleted.

Sixteen charges

The officials had declined an offer for a copy of the hard drive, Trengove said.
Wasserman said: "It wasn't brought to my attention."

His unit was asked to investigate Breytenbach after a complaint by Mendelow Jacobs Attorneys on behalf of Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) in December last year.

This related to a dispute between ICT and Sishen/Kumba Iron Ore over mining rights, which Breytenbach investigated.

Breytenbach has pleaded not guilty to 16 charges brought against her by the NPA at the hearing at its offices in Silverton.

The hearing continues.

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