Bring it on, Nassif tells lawyer

2010-08-03 12:36

Pushed to the limit during cross examination, former security boss

Clinton Nassif, asked the Johannesburg High Court today whether he was the one

on trial, as he endured further grilling.

He asked: “I’m sorry my Lord, I must ask, am I on trial here?”

Nassif asked this as defence attorney Laurence Hodes SC, questioned

him about drug charges he faced in 2007.

Judge Frans Kgomo responded that the line of questioning spoke to

his credibility as a witness in the trial under way and allowed proceedings to

go ahead.

Hodes pointed out to the court that Nassif was a section 204

witness in the drug matter – meaning he would receive indemnity from prosecution

provided his testimony was honest.

He said Nassif had to then enter into a plea bargain after he had

“lied” in his statement.

Nassif replied that he had not lied but merely left out information

in his statement. He was advised to plead guilty for a lighter sentence in the

drug matter by his attorney.

Hodes told Nassif that his conduct in the drug matter was similar

to his conduct in the trial of drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti who is facing a

murder charge.

Nassif is a section 204 witness in the Agliotti matter.

The burly witness who took frequent sips of water during the fourth

day of cross-examination challenged Hodes to “have a full go”.

He said: “Mr Hodes, its my fourth day, I’m willing to stay here [in

the witness stand] for six months, have a full go.”

To which Hodes replied, that Nassif’s comments did not “impress”

him and told him he could stay in the witness stand for a year but it would mean

nothing if he continued to evade the questions.

Agliotti was sombre as he sat in the dock of court 4C during the

second week of his trial in which he is facing four charges – two counts of

conspiracy to commit murder, one of attempted murder and one of murder.

In an adjoining court his one time friend former police

commissioner Jackie Selebi heard his sentence of 15 years in prison.

Agliotti, who was a section 204 witness in the Selebi matter, had

no comment on the sentence.

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