Lawyers object to intercepted calls in drug trafficking case

2010-10-21 13:12

Lawyers representing the wife of state security minister and her co-accused in a drug trafficking case have objected to the use of the transcripts of intercepted calls.

“The use of the transcripts of the intercepted calls will be unconstitutional,” Cwele’s advocate, Mvuseni Ngubane, said today. It would “trample” the accused’s privacy.

The State intended producing transcripts of calls between drug trafficking accused Sheryl Cwele and Frank Nabolisa and convicted drug mule Tessa Beetge as evidence in its trial.

Both advocates representing Cwele and Nabolisa said the act, under which the interception of calls was authorised, did not cover cellphones. They also argued that the interception was not authorised by a designated judge.

Prosecutor Ian Cooke on Tuesday told the Pietermaritzburg High Court the calls would give a detailed picture of what went on between Cwele, Nabolisa and Beetge.

Beetge was arrested after 10kg of cocaine was found in her luggage in Brazil in 2008.

Cwele and Nigerian national Nabolisa allegedly conspired to recruit Beetge and Charmaine Moss as drug mules. Moss turned down the alleged offer when she suspected something was amiss.

Beetge was currently serving an eight-year jail sentence in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Arguments about the admissibility of the intercepted calls would continue.

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