Phone call contents inadmissible, says Soni’s defence

2015-10-07 11:38
Businessman Rajivee Soni at court this week.

Businessman Rajivee Soni at court this week. (Jonathan Burton)

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Pietermaritzburg - The defence for accused Rajivee Soni, charged with murder of Dr Bhavish Sewram, wants the court to exclude evidence about a cellphone call allegedly made by one of the killers.

Defence attorney Naren Sangham yesterday objected when convicted hitman Sabelo Dlamini began to tell Judge Jacqueline Henriques and assessor Gerhard Barnard about a cellphone call made by former policeman Brian Treasurer as they drove away from the crime scene in the wake of the doctor’s shooting on the night of May 13, 2013.

Sangham said the contents of the call are “inadmissible”.

He said there is a “possibility” that Treasurer might be called to testify in the trial on behalf of Soni, or that he could be called as a witness for the state.

But, he said, if Treasurer does give evidence, the prosecutor “will then be entitled to cross examine him” regarding the alleged phone call.

State advocate Johan du Toit will oppose the application to disallow the evidence about the phone call when the case resumes today.

Both he and Sangham were given time to research what the law states regarding the status of the evidence and to present full legal argument about the issue.

Treasurer is currently serving a life sentence after he was convicted of Sewram’s murder along with his accomplice Mfaniseni Nxumalo last month.

The two men were tried separately from Soni, as well as from Dlamini who pleaded guilty to shooting Sewram in March last year.

Dlamini was sentenced to 25 years in prison because the trial judge found that he had shown remorse for his actions.

Dlamini, who admitted he shot the doctor in return for a fee of R12 000, also gave evidence for the state against Treasurer and Nxumalo.

Before Sangham’s objection yesterday, Dlamini mentioned that after the shooting, while he and Nxumalo were being driven back to Mason informal settlement by Treasurer, the latter took out a cellphone and made a call.

Before he could testify about what was allegedly said, Sangham objected.

Legal arguments about the issue will be presented by the state and defence today

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court  |  soni

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