EXCLUSIVE - O'Sullivan tries to halt imminent arrest

2016-07-14 08:06
Forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Johannesburg - Forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan may be arrested again when he arrives back in the country from London on Friday morning.

That is, unless his lawyers managed to stop the police and National Prosecuting Authority from doing so.

They would apply for an interdict in an urgent application to be heard in the Johannesburg High Court on Thursday.

The arrest was discussed in a series of emails between Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Jabulani Mlotshwa, who works in the NPA’s priority crimes litigation unit, and O’Sullivan’s attorney, Daryll Furman.

On Monday, Mlotshwa emailed Furman informing him that the allegations against O’Sullivan were so serious, “the issuing of warrants of arrest against him will be unavoidable despite our undertaking in the section 26B matter”.

This referred to a case currently before the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court. O’Sullivan is facing six charges of contravening section 26B of the SA Citizenship Act. He is accused of leaving the country on his Irish passport.

10 other cases investigated against O’Sullivan

Hawks officers arrested him in front of his two children in April. He was taken off a plane about to leave for London. He was the first person to have ever been charged in the country for the statutory offence.

During a court appearance on June 7, O’Sullivan’s bail conditions were changed to include an agreement between the NPA and the police that they would not arrest O’Sullivan for any offence he allegedly committed before June 7, 2016.

The agreement was that O’Sullivan would be subpoenaed to come to court, and not arrested. The agreement was made an order of the court.

During the trial, Hawks officers revealed to the court that aside from the citizenship act charge, they were investigating 10 other cases against him.

One summons had been issued for a fraud case which he would be appearing for on Friday. A third case was opened by SAA chair Dudu Myeni, for which he would be in court in September.

O’Sullivan has accused the police and NPA of malicious prosecution. After the charges against him were revealed to the court, O’Sullivan said people he had previously investigated had opened the cases referred to. Some of them had been arrested.

Contempt of the order of the court

Furman told Mlotshwa he was “extremely surprised” that he and the police intended breaching the court’s order. He asked for a written assurance from Mlotshwa that O’Sullivan would not be arrested.

“I can unfortunately not make an undertaking that a warrant of arrest against the accused will not be applied for, due to the seriousness of some of the allegations against him,” Mlotshwa wrote.

Furman replied that any attempt to have O’Sullivan arrested was a “blatant act of contempt of the order of the court”.

He then launched the urgent application.

Interdict sought

The application sought to interdict the NPA, the police minister, Mlotshwa, and Gauteng Hawks head Major General Prince Mokotedi from applying for an arrest warrant or arresting O’Sullivan for any offence allegedly committed before June 7. They had to secure O’Sullivan’s presence in court through a J175 summons and pay for the costs of the application.

Furman revealed in the application that O’Sullivan had also been served a summons to appear in the Kempton Park Regional Court on May 9 on charges of extortion, intimidation, fraud, forgery, and uttering.

O’Sullivan was given permission by the court to attend his daughter’s birthday in London and would return on Friday.

“The applicant has already been found not to be a flight risk and/or danger to society or any individual,” Furman said.

He said both he and O’Sullivan believed that police intend to arrest him at the airport on his arrival back in South Africa on Friday. They thus had no choice but to seek an interdict.

Both the Hawks and NPA did not respond to media queries on Wednesday.  

Read more on:    hawks  |  paul o'sullivan

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