Hawks hit O'Sullivan with sixth charge

Johannesburg - When forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Wednesday morning on an immigration case, the Hawks handed him a subpoena informing they were charging him with another matter.

The subpoena served is a sixth charge. News24 understands it is a case of alleged extortion involving Alberton African National Congress councillor Neil Diamond.

O'Sullivan and his assistant, attorney Sarah Jane Trent, were arrested in February for allegedly impersonating an Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) officer during their investigation into acting police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane.

His arrest, despite a court order which stated he could only be arrested through a subpoena informing him to be in court, was widely condemned.

Aside from the impersonation case, O'Sullivan faces four other charges which he is fighting in court: A Bramley case of fraud and extortion, a Rosebank case of kidnapping, the immigration case, and a Kempton Park case of extortion, fraud, and intimidation.

First person charged

O'Sullivan has said that the complainants in all of the cases are from people he has previously investigated, which the Hawks are digging up to try and jail him.

A large contingent of Hawks officers, as well as Gauteng Hawks head Major General Prince Mokotedi were in court on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Jabulani Mlotshwa was giving arguments against an application by O'Sullivan's advocate Barry Roux to have the case discharged.

The case involves six incidents, between March 2015 and February 2016, when O'Sullivan exited and entered the country on his Irish passport. Using the foreign passport allegedly contravened Section 26B of the South African Citizenship Act.

It was at the height of Czech criminal Radovan Krejcir's assassination attempts against him. O'Sullivan’s defence told the court the reason he used this passport was to avoid detection by Krejcir and the corrupt police officers in his employ.

O'Sullivan was the first person in the country to ever be charged with the offence.

Mlotshwa argued that just because the accused had a good defence did not mean the case should be dismissed.

"It can never be said the interest of justice is in the interest of the accused only," Mlotshwa said.

He said there was no argument from O'Sullivan to say he didn't transgress Section 26B and he pushed for O'Sullivan to take the stand in his defence.

Roux said a guilty charge depended on whether an accused intentionally broke the law.

"He did not commit the offence. You can only commit it if you broke the law intentionally. None of the State's witnesses could get around this. They were terrible witnesses. They were liars," Roux argued.

Just as the court was about to adjourn, Roux asked Magistrate Wynand Nel to tell the Hawks to return O'Sullivan's British passport, as agreed in an earlier court order.

Mlotshwa said they did not have the passport there and that O'Sullivan needed to sign for it. O'Sullivan stood up and pointed out that a Hawks officer had his passport in a brown envelope.

Nel ordered that the passport be returned to O'Sullivan. On the instructions of a senior officer, one of the officers quickly moved out of the court with the passport.

O'Sullivan ran out of the court to stop him, telling the officer he was defying a court order. The officer returned into the court and handed over the document.

O'Sullivan said he could not believe that so many Hawks officers could be present for his case, when just hours before and a few kilometres away, a multi-million rand cash heist had taken place at OR Tambo International Airport.

"I am sure they have more pressing work to do," O'Sullivan said.

The case was postponed to June 2.

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