State defends shaky witnesses

2010-11-18 13:03

There is “some corroboration” in the evidence from witnesses in the trial of Brett Kebble murder accused Glenn Agliotti, the High Court in Johannesburg has heard.

State advocate Dan Dakana told the court that “despite contradictions, at the end of the day there is some corroboration”.

Dakana was arguing against an application for a discharge in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

The evidence of security boss Clinton Nassif was slammed as contradictory by the defence, led by advocate Laurence Hodes SC.

Judge Frans Kgomo provided the word “obliterated” to describe Nassif’s performance under cross examination.

But the state contends that Nassif “was not cracked as to the involvement of the accused in the matters before the court”.

“It is further submitted that the court should find that he played open cards with the court in so far as the accused was involved in the commission of the offences that he faces,” the state argued.

Dakana said: “The court has the discretion on which evidence to accept and reject from Nassif.”

Nassif spent days under cross examination.

Earlier in the trial he floundered and stumbled through the incessant grilling by Hodes.

Hodes yesterday branded him a “massive liar”.

Dakana reiterated that payment for the shooting of Kebble was to come from Agliotti, that Agliotti was present when Kebble’s death was discussed, and that the decision to help Kebble with his “assisted suicide” was taken by both Agliotti and Nassif.

He added that the evidence showed that Agliotti had a place in the “chain of command” between Kebble, his business partner John Stratton and Nassif.

Dakana made reference to the court record in his submission to the court.

Hodes, in his reply to Dakana, stood up and furiously pointed out that the state had completely ignored the cross examination of the witnesses in the evidence.

“They are grasping at straws, with absolute respect my lord,” he said.

Kgomo had to intervene, saying: “Tame your language Mr Hodes.”

Hodes read out the sections of the record referred to by the state and indicated that it did not support their arguments.

“That is why I submit my lord that there is no basis to carry on with this case.”

Kgomo postponed the matter to November 25, when he will hand down his ruling.

In closing he described the trial as “long, difficult and traumatic”, with some “comical” moments.
He commended the handling of the trial by both sides.

“Let’s hope that at the end of the day justice will not only prevail but will also be seen to have been done,” he said, before adjourning the matter for the day.

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