Court hears of cheques for 'JS'

2009-11-06 16:02

Johannesburg - Cheques with stubs marked ‘chief’, ‘JS’ and ‘c.o.p’ were cashed and the money given to Glenn Agliotti, a former friend of once-top cop Jackie Selebi, who is on trial for corruption, the South Gauteng High Court heard on Friday.

State witness Martin Flint testified that he cashed the cheques for Agliotti, a convicted drug trafficker and the ex-fiancée of his daughter Dianne Muller.

"[Agliotti] would say: 'Martin make out a cheque, It is for cop or it is for chief, but I had no knowledge of what it meant'," the white-haired witness, dressed in a camel coloured jacket, said as prosecutor Gerrie Nel showed him a variety of cheque foils and stubs.

Flint identified his own handwriting on most of them and said he drew them up and cashed them on Agliotti's instructions.

Asked by Nel whom he thought the payments went to Flint replied: "Anything is possible, M'lord. I have no personal knowledge at all.

Retract statement

"I do not have any detailed knowledge who Mr Agliotti handed money to." The court heard that Flint wanted to retract his statement in a previous affidavit that the "c.o.p" stood for payments Agliotti gave to a retired policeman who had been in a car accident.

He said the prosecution had recently pointed out to him that the dates of the cheques and the time that he remembered the policeman, a Mr Bezuidenhout, coming to certain offices did not add up.

Previously, Agliotti told the court he gave the former police commissioner the nicknames "Jax" and "Chief".

Flint testified that he thought the JS stood for John Stratton, a business associate of slain mining magnate Brett Kebble.

"The only JS that comes to mind was John Stratton. We were at the time working with John Stratton."

During cross-examination by defence lawyer Jaap Cilliers, he emphasised this was his own understanding.

"When I wrote it, I interpreted it as John Stratton. I think I made that interpretation myself," he said.

$1m consultancy fee

During his testimony, Flint detailed how the account of his company Spring Lights was used by Kebble, Stratton and Agliotti.

Agliotti previously testified that he asked Kebble and Stratton for a $1m "consultancy fee" for access to Selebi.

"Money came into the account from JCI, another associate company, Heath and Associates, RA Kebble and Agliotti himself.

"I was responsible in the main for the making out and signing of the cheques. However the instruction for that always came from Agliotti."

Flint said that once investigations began in the case, he prepared a payment analysis from the account when requested to do by KPMG.

Before his testimony began, Flint was warned about possibly receiving Section 204 indemnity for corruption, fraud, theft and money laundering charges if he was found to testify "honestly and frankly".

Muller and Agliotti, who have both served as State witnesses in the case, were warned under the same act.

'Poorer' Agliotti

Flint also painted a picture of a much poorer Agliotti when his daughter met him in 1993, than the one alleged to have later purchased luxury gifts for Selebi.

"He is not the person who appeared in this court. When I met him he drove a battered Nissan and wore clothes from Edgars.

"He was a different person from the one that now is accused of somewhat heinous crimes."

During Muller’s testimony, she told the court Agliotti changed when he began what she termed his "friendship of gain" with Selebi.

"Agliotti started to believe that he was larger than life. That he was bigger than anyone. That he could do anything. That the law could not touch him because he was friends with the accused," she testified.

At one point during his testimony, Flint got emotional at his family's involvement in the case.

"You live your life in a certain way and you have certain standards; and these standards get obliterated and you are not aware of that happening."

On Monday the trial will enter its fifth week with an auditor from KPMG expected to take the stand.

A fourth witness, Dean Friedman, is expected to detail an audit of Selebi’s lifestyle and the Spring Lights account.

Selebi faces a charge of corruption and another of defeating the ends of justice in connection with at least R1.2m he allegedly received from Agliotti and others in return for favours.