Savoi: ‘court order erroneous’

2011-03-25 00:00

AN attempt to enlist the co-operation of foreign states in an investigation into the suspected overseas assets of corruption and fraud accused Gaston Savoi is the subject of a high court application that was adjourned yesterday to March 31, in Pietermaritzburg.

Savoi is among 15 individuals and four companies facing charges in KwaZulu-Natal of tender fraud and corruption.

The charges arise from allegations that his company, Intaka Holdings (Pty) Ltd, supplied water purification and oxygen plants to hospitals in the province at inflated prices.

Savoi and several co-accused face similar allegations in the Northern Cape.

On February 3, the high court in Pietermaritzburg granted an urgent order applied for by curator bonis Hendrik Hattingh for “letters of request” for assistance in the investigation into foreign assets to be issued to the British Virgin Islands, Panama, Uruguay, Switzerland and Monaco.

Hattingh was appointed last year to take control of the “realisable assets” of the various entities and individuals facing criminal charges in the matter.

Rodrigo Savoi, a director of Intaka Holdings, claims in an affidavit that the court order — which was granted without notice to Intaka Holdings and other affected entities — is “erroneous” in various respects.

He submitted that only the National Director of Public Prosecutions has the power — in terms of the International Co-operation in Criminal Matters Act — to approach the court to issue a letter of request for assistance sought in a foreign state.

Savoi also maintains that the powers and duties granted to Hattingh in his capacity as curator bonis are limited to “realisable property”.

He further alleges that material facts were not disclosed to the court that might have influenced its decision.

One such fact, he said, was that according to an interim report of September 30 last year, Hattingh has already restrained property to the value of R143 774 017.

The matter was postponed to March 31 by agreement.

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