Brown trial on hold

2012-10-10 19:01

Cape Town -The trial of former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown will begin next month in the Western Cape High Court, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday.

Spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said the trial was to have started on Wednesday, but the court postponed it until 6 November to allow a more senior judge to be appointed.

Brown faces nine charges of fraud, theft, corruption and money laundering, related to Fidentia and six affected companies.

In the summary-of-facts document, Brown is accused of orchestrating a "huge" exercise of inflated assets valuations, backdating of documents and so-called asset swap agreements on the strength of "false" promissory notes in an effort to defeat the attempts of the Financial Services Board inspectorate to investigate and uncover the "true picture".

At Brown's last court appearance in August, Judge John Hlophe warned Brown to be ready for the trial or to forfeit his bail of R1m.

On Wednesday morning, a small crowd gathered outside the court with placards, handing out a full-colour comic book titled "The Tale of the Two Curators".

In it, an attorney with devil's horns is depicted making a deal with the head of the Financial Services Board.

The plot involves a conspiracy to target Fidentia, paint it as a Ponzi scheme and get former intelligence unit the Scorpions to arrest the directors, while the conspirators take the R1.6bn under management by Fidentia.

A website link on the last page reveals that the comic was drafted and distributed by Brown's new attorney June Marks.