No copies of child porn evidence - court

2012-08-01 07:38
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(File, Shutterstock)

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Pretoria - The Pretoria North Regional Court has ruled that no copies may be made of evidence in a child molestation case, Woman and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) said on Tuesday.

This meant the defence team in the case had to view some evidence first-hand, and could not get copies of it. The case involves nine people accused of sexually assaulting children and making child pornography.

Following months of delays and postponements, Magistrate Pieter Nel told the lawyers to view the material and prepare for the next court appearance, set for October 8.

In March, lawyers for the nine family members told the court they wanted to see and have copies of the explicit material, which was in the State's possession as evidence.

100+ charges of child rape and abuse

The group faces more than 100 charges of child rape and sexual abuse relating to the production of child pornography, which features their own and foster children.

The nine accused are a grandfather, 58, grandmother, 57, their two sons from previous relationships, aged 34 and 36, the grandfather's brother, 61, his wife, 42, and their son, who is reportedly mentally disabled.

The 26-year-old wife of one of the sons was also arrested.

The ninth person was a 31-year old woman believed to be the wife of accused number eight.

On Tuesday the magistrate said the parties could not guarantee the confidentiality of the explicit material and therefore denied the defence's application to have copies.

‘Too many delays’

WMACA applauded the magistrate's decision. Spokesperson Vincentia Dlamini said the State could not take the risk of the evidence finding its way onto the internet, as this would violate the rights of the child victims.

"Once this evidence is viewed, we would like to see what kind of defence will be mounted," Dlamini said.

The rights group had already registered concern over the delays in the case, saying the wheels of justice were taking too long to turn for the affected minors.

The National Prosecuting Authority was not immediately reachable for comment.
- SAPA
Read more on:    npa  |  pornography  |  child abuse
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