Van Breda trial postponed for 2 days

2017-06-05 12:51
Henri van Breda during an earlier court appearance. (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

Henri van Breda during an earlier court appearance. (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Proceedings in the triple murder trial of Henri van Breda were postponed in the Western Cape High Court on Monday due to personal reasons by his defence advocate.

Matthys Combrink, Pieter Botha's junior advocate, told Judge Siraj Desai that Botha had asked that the matter be postponed until Wednesday. Reasons had been provided to the court.

Desai allowed this, with no objection from the State.

Van Breda, 22, pleaded not guilty to axing his parents and brother to death, seriously injuring his sister and defeating the ends of justice.

He alleges an intruder wearing a balaclava, gloves and dark clothes was behind the attack and that he had heard other voices of people speaking Afrikaans in their home in the De Zalze Estate in Stellenbosch in January 2015.

READ: Henri van Breda back in court

Forensic evidence

Van Breda claimed that after a fight with the axe-wielding intruder, the man escaped.

Crime scene investigator Warrant Officer Andre Hitchcock was expected to return to the dock on Monday.

He testified on Thursday that he had collected more samples at the Van Breda's De Zalze home than he had at any crime scene in his entire career.

Collecting forensic evidence from 12 Goske Street took police three weeks, Hitchcock said last week.

Cross examination of the officer is expected to commence once proceedings resume.

The defence's case last week took a knock when their attempts to have Van Breda's initial statement given to police excluded from evidence were unsuccessful.

Botha argued that on a level of probabilities, Van Breda was a suspect as he was taken from the scene to the district surgeon wearing only his boxer shorts, before being driven to the detectives' offices for his version to be recorded, still only dressed in his underwear.

Botha said Van Breda's family wasn't given access to him and his blood was later tested by a doctor to whom he was introduced as a suspect.

He insisted that police had already seen his client as a suspect, meaning he was entitled to be warned that he did not have to make a statement, had the right to consult a lawyer, and to remain silent.

The State argued that his statement had been taken as a witness.

Desai admitted Van Breda's statement into evidence, following a week-long trial-within-a-trial.

Read more on:    henri van breda  |  cape town  |  crime  |  van breda murders

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