State 'self-destructed' in Block case, court hears

2014-04-15 21:47
John Block (Picture: Volksblad)

John Block (Picture: Volksblad)

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Kimberley - The prosecution in the Trifecta lease matter have destroyed their own case, the Northern Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

"They [the State] destroy their own case with the evidence given," said Salie Joubert, for Northern Cape ANC officials John Block and Alvin Botes.

Judge Mathebe Phatshoane was hearing argument in an application for acquittal from fraud and corruption charges against Northern Cape ANC heavyweights Block, Botes, Yolanda Botha, and Trifecta director Christo Scholtz.

The State has accused the Trifecta Group of entering into a number of lease agreements with Northern Cape departments in which rentals, or rental space, were grossly inflated.

All the accused have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them or their companies.

Joubert submitted the State's inferences reached in the case should be based on facts that had been proven in court.

Instead, the State's inferences were "pie in the sky".

"With all due respect, the prosecution misinterpreted the facts and their inferences were drawn from distorted thoughts."

Joubert said the alleged gratification the State contended Block and Botes received from Trifecta was legal.

"It was shown that the gratification received was lawful, in terms of salaries. It is so remote from what they called unlawful."

Joubert argued the State had no case against Block and Botes on the money laundering and fraud charges.

He submitted the prosecution based its case on what a forensic auditor had told them, but the State's inferences from that were unfounded and had no substance.

Joubert said in one instance the court had three versions for a set of facts.

"They do not even know who employed Botes. They do not know, because it has no material value, anyway."

Joubert urged the court to grant the application for a discharge.

Botha's legal counsel Anwar Albertus said in a case with serious charges, the State had to make out a proper case, otherwise the court was bound to acquit.

He submitted the State's case was largely based on "inferences to be drawn".

Such inferences should be consistent with the facts of the case.

"It must exclude other reasonable inferences."

Read more on:    john block  |  kimberley  |  crime

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