Technicality sinks R29m card fraud case

2012-01-24 22:30
Cape Town - A technicality forced the withdrawal on Tuesday of a R29m credit card fraud case against a father, daughter and three others accused of scamming Standard Bank.

Casandra Barnard, her father Deon Barnard, and Christiaan van Wyk, Ebrahim Adam and Johannes Roos appeared before Magistrate Amrith Chabilall in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court.

Senior State advocate Malini Govender, who heads the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Unit, told the court that forensic audit reports were outstanding in the investigation.

As a result, she was unable to comply with an earlier agreement to furnish defence attorney William Booth with a completed charge sheet and information from the investigation docket.

She asked for a postponement for the completion of the investigation.

Chabilall upheld Booth's objection to the postponement on the grounds that the State was bound by the earlier agreement, and ruled that the case be removed from the roll.

Technically, the ruling forced the withdrawal of the charge, and the five stepped out of the dock free people.

However, the door remains open for the State to re-institute the charge as soon as it is in a position to furnish the information required by the defence.

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