Media gets access to Selebi docs

2009-11-11 11:52

Johannesburg - Media houses were on Wednesday granted access to certain documents relating to the corruption trial of former police head Jackie Selebi.

"It seems to have been resolved amicably by the state, the accused's legal team and yourself," Judge Meyer Joffe said in the South Gauteng High Court.

The defence, state and representatives from Avusa, the Mail and Guardian, Independent newspapers and Media24 earlier held a discussion in chambers about being given access to the documents.

The judge then told the media houses they could obtain documents handed over as evidence, as well as access to some statements.

Provisional documents

They would not be granted access to documents admitted provisionally and not yet proven - where a witness has verified saying into the record that they made it and signed it - in court.

The judge said the media would take the risk on reporting on certain affidavits that had been proven, but only portions of which were referred to in court.

"t may well be that there are variances in the affidavits... It would be unfortunate if a wrong impression is sent out into the world... The press takes a burden and a risk if they were to not indicate the distinction between the affidavit and the evidence before court."

Lawyers for the media houses indicated they were happy with the arrangement.

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.