Fraud charge sheet to be amended

2015-08-03 09:04


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THE fraud trial of Msunduzi councillor and local attorney Naleni Atwaru and medical doctor Terence Govender will continue next month with minor amendments to the charge sheet.

This follows a ruling on Friday by regional court magistrate Rose Mogwera that the details contained in the state’s charge sheet, and in the state’s responses to requests by the defence for further information, were sufficient for them to prepare for trial.

Her judgment followed a recent application brought by defence advocate Gideon Scheltema SC on behalf of Atwaru, “objecting” to the charge sheet, maintaining insufficient information was provided to enable her to adequately prepare for trial, and alleging her “fair trial rights” were compromised.

However, in her judgment on Friday, Mogwera said she had read through all the responses given by the state and she was convinced that the information that has been provided is enough to give Atwaru a clear idea of what it was the state alleges she did, and is endeavouring to prove against her.

In addition, said Mogwera, the defence also has access to the police docket and to witness statements in the docket in order to prepare for trial.

However, she agreed with the defence that the frequent use of the phrase “and/or” in the charge sheet causes confusion and instructed the prosecutor Lise Keech to amend the charge sheet by removing the phrase wherever it appears.

The case was postponed to August 18 for the amended charge sheet. On that day a new trial date is expected to be set.

Atwaru and Govender face multiple counts of allegedly defrauding the Road Accident Fund of around R800 000

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  fraud allegations  |  court
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