Selebi trial resumes

2010-04-07 11:04

Johannesburg - Former police chief Jackie Selebi's corruption trial will resume in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday following a break to allow his lawyers to consult with State witnesses.

When the case was adjourned last month, Selebi's lawyers had asked for time to consult with witnesses made available to them by the State after it closed its case.

The witnesses included members of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) who were involved in a 2008 meeting, recorded on DVD, with convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti at the Balalaika hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg.

They include NIA director-general Manala Manzini and NIA operations chief Arthur Fraser, defence council Jaap Cilliers said.

Recall witnesses

"We think there's a real possibility that after consultation with some of these witnesses, we could make an application to recall some witnesses like Mr Agliotti," said Cilliers during the last court hearing.

In the 2008 meeting, Agliotti signed a statement believing it would help secure him indemnity in his pending criminal matters.

His statement detailed, among other things, money and gifts he had given to Selebi and contained claims that the Scorpions were out to tarnish his reputation and were trying to discredit Selebi to destabilise the country.

Agliotti retracted the statement days later, but the court had provisionally accepted the recorded DVD as evidence.

The defence was to bring an application for the discharge of the case against Selebi once this process was completed but media reports last week indicated that the first papers were already filed.

The Star quoted Selebi's lawyer Wynanda Coetzee saying the heads of argument had been submitted to the trial judge and the State prosecutors.

Such applications were intended to convince a judge that the State had failed in proving its case.

Generally, Selebi's defence would argue that the evidence presented by the State failed to prove the allegations on the charge sheet.

He was facing a charge of corruption and defeating the ends of justice and had pleaded not guilty.