Selebi's spending scrutinised

2009-11-10 13:33
Johannesburg - "Inferences" could be drawn from the way corruption-accused former top cop Jackie Selebi handled his finances in 2005, the South Gauteng High Court heard on Tuesday.

State witness, forensic auditor Dean Friedman took the court through a graphic representation of Selebi's financial affairs.

Friedman is testifying about a forensic investigation report into Selebi's financial affairs, as well as the Spring Lights account.

He said the representation showed a reduction in cash withdrawals and credit card expenditure in the year.

"In October/ November 2005 all expenditure goes down."

Balance didn't go down


Friedman said certain "inferences" could be drawn from the fact that Selebi kept large amounts of cash - his balance apparently did not go down below R79 000 that year - in a low interest-bearing account.

"It is unexplained why he would have these massive amounts of cash in this account not bearing much interest."

Defence lawyer Jaap Cilliers then put it to him: "We are not busy evaluating the accused for his financial skills. We are investigating if there is currency or money from outside sources we cannot explain."

Friedman said he disagreed with Cilliers.

"One can infer a number of things. Mr Selebi might not have been financially as astute, which clearly is a criticism of his financial management. Or that there was such a flow of cash. If you have a lot of cash that becomes available, as has been alleged with Mr Selebi, then it can be an inference that can be drawn."

Selebi faces a charge of corruption and another of defeating the ends of justice in connection with at least R1.2m he allegedly received from Agliotti and others in return for favours.

At the start of the trial the State, in papers before the court, it is alleged that "[convicted drug trafficker Glenn] Agliotti and/or [slain mining magnate Brett] Kebble and or [ex-Hyundai boss Billy] Rautenbach and/or the relevant corporate entities have benefited the accused in the period 1 January 2000 up to and including 31 December 2005... in an amount of at least but not restricted to R1.2m".

Access to Selebi

The investigation into Selebi started in 2006 and Selebi first presented himself to court in 2008.

Friedman's investigation into the bank account of a company called Spring Lights relates to claims Kebble and his associate John Stratton allegedly used the account to send Selebi's former self-proclaimed friend Agliotti payments.

Agliotti, who has turned State witness, previously testified he had asked Kebble and Stratton for a $1m "consultancy fee" for access to Selebi.

During cross examination on Tuesday, Cilliers put it to Friedman that neither the KPMG report nor his evidence showed any unexplained cash payments or credit cards going into Selebi's account.

"You could find no cash that could not be explained from the legitimate earnings for the accused. There was no cash that you could not find the source of."

Friedman replied: "Yes there is none."

Cross-examination

The cross-examination between Cilliers and Friedman turned somewhat nasty at times.

At one stage, Friedman told Cilliers: "Maybe counsel should listen before you ask a question."

"Maybe the witness should forget he was a prosecutor," Cilliers retorted to Friedman, who once practised law.

At another stage Cilliers told Friedman: "If you don't stick to the question we will be here all week."

The auditor replied: "M'lord, I really don’t need to be lectured by counsel."

- SAPA
Read more on:    jackie selebi
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