Interpol criticises Selebi case

2009-09-02 11:42

Johannesburg - Interpol secretary-general Ronald Noble on Wednesday criticised the slow prosecution of former South African police chief Jackie Selebi.

"I've never seen happening what is happening in South Africa," Noble told reporters at a Southern African Police Conference in Johannesburg.

He said he did not understand why it was taking so long to prosecute Selebi, who is accused of corruption.

"If they have a case against him, charge him... give him the dignity he deserves.

"Mr Selebi is an honourable man," said Noble.

Innocent until proven guilty

He said accusing a head of any police organisation was "a serious charge".

"I sure hope that South Africa is still a country where people are innocent until proven guilty," said Noble.

Selebi took special leave in 2007, when it emerged he was about to be charged with alleged corruption relating to his relationship with convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti.

Agliotti was also a co-accused in the murder of mining magnate Brett Kebble, whose funds were allegedly used to pay Selebi.

Selebi faced two charges of corruption and one of defeating the ends of justice.

Trial delays

He made his first court appearance in February 2008 by agreement and without arrest, and his actual trial had been delayed by various applications and counter-applications relating to the investigation against him.

His trial was supposed to have started in April this year, but at his last court appearance in Johannesburg in May, he was angered by the delays.

The corruption trial was postponed to October 5.

Selebi served as Interpol president from 2004 until January 12, 2008. He resigned after being suspended as police commissioner over the corruption allegations.