'Spy cop' fails in bid to have search declared invalid

2016-03-14 17:31
Paul Scheepers (Netwerk24)

Paul Scheepers (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – The Western Cape High Court has dismissed an application to have a warrant to search and seize computers and other items from "spy cop" Paul Scheepers declared unlawful.

Computers, flash-drives and hard-drives as well as documents were seized in a police raid in 2015.

Scheepers has been accused of working as a spy for the Western Cape government.

The deregistration of Scheepers' business, Eagle Eye Solutions Technology, was in the spotlight as the applicant and the respondent argued about the validity of the warrant.

The court heard that Eagle Eye Solutions Technology had been deregistered a few days before the warrant was executed.

Advocate Johnny Nortje, for Scheepers, argued in court that a search warrant issued by a Wynberg magistrate was invalid and should be set aside.

He said the warrant was not specific in terms of the charges Scheepers faced, nor about the items to be seized.

It also did not specify that two members of the cyber-crimes unit would be part of the search, and the address for the business was also in question, he said.

Respondent Ismail Jamie said because the business had already been deregistered as a closed corporation, it had belonged to the state at the time of the search.

This, Jamie argued, meant the items then officially belonged to the state, and therefore the warrant itself was not needed for the state to raid the business.

Judge Monde Samela told the applicants they could not attack the search warrant, as at the time of its execution, the business itself technically did not exist.

He said Scheepers could not apply, in his own personal standing, for the search to be declared invalid, as the business itself no longer existed.

Most of the items seized had been returned, the court heard, except for two iPhones and an iPad.

These were encrypted and were useless to the investigation, Jamie said, and would be given back.

Both parties were responsible for the own legal costs.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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