Delay expected in murder accused Jason Rohde's trial

2017-09-22 11:44
Jason Rohde with Advocate Pete Mihalik outside court. (Tammy Petersen/News24)

Jason Rohde with Advocate Pete Mihalik outside court. (Tammy Petersen/News24)

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Cape Town – The start of murder accused and property mogul Jason Rohde's trial will be postponed as the defence has requested and not yet received the police's case file and the findings of the State's three experts, the Western Cape High Court heard on Friday.

This, prosecutor Louis Van Niekerk said, takes time to compile, resulting in the possible delay.

The trial had been scheduled to start on October 9.

Further examination by a forensic pathologist was also still outstanding.

Defence lawyer Advocate Pete Mihalik said they did not want to finalise Rohde's admissions without having all the evidence before them.

The case, he said, was related to DNA, forensic, pathology, cellphone and computer-generated evidence.

Mihalik, however, claimed his client's seized laptop did not appear on the police register.

Rohde, the former CEO of Geffen International Realty Franchises, is accused of murdering his wife Susan in their hotel room at the Spier Wine Estate on July 24, 2016, while attending Sotheby's annual conference.

He was released on bail of R100 000 and R1m surety in August 2016.

Hotel bar argument

The property mogul claimed he found his wife dead in the bathroom of their room at the luxury hotel.

Initially thought to be a suicide, an inquest docket was opened into Susan's death until the post-mortem indicated there might have been foul play.

Rohde commissioned pathological and forensic reports of his own after police opened a murder docket, which suggested that she had committed suicide.

Rohde's lawyer previously told News24 his client had said he and his wife had woken up together that Sunday morning and she had gone into the bathroom. He had then fallen asleep.

The father of three claimed he woke up later to prepare for a breakfast talk he was to give at the conference, but was unable to open the bathroom door.

Hotel maintenance was called to help, and Susan was found hanged in the bathroom.

According to the pathologists, her time of death was 05:40 that morning.

The night before, the two had apparently argued in the hotel bar where Susan had apparently told him she knew he was having an affair.

Read more on:    jason rohde  |  susan rohde  |  cape town  |  crime

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