Bail hearing in ex-advocate's bribery case postponed

2016-09-14 19:56
Magistrates court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Magistrates court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Bloemfontein - A former Free State advocate who allegedly tried to bribe a judge will have to wait another day to find out if the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court will grant him bail.

Magistrate Richards Lawrence postponed the matter to Thursday for judgment.

Earlier on Wednesday Karabo Tau, 39, representing himself, said he intended pleading not guilty to charges of corruption, extortion, impersonating an advocate and conspiracy to commit an offence.

"I will vehemently deny those charges. I was even confused when I read about them in the media," he said.

Tau was arrested in Bloemfontein in August after he was allegedly approached by the families of nine people found guilty of the theft of diesel and racketeering and he allegedly tried to bribe a judge to acquit them, Hawks spokesperson S'fiso Nyakane said.

The nine would be sentenced in the Free State High Court in October.

Their families allegedly paid him R80 000. This was apparently a deposit for the payment of R500 000 meant for the judge.

Strong case

Nyakane said the Free State Society of Advocates had disbarred Tau.

However, Tau alleged that he had never approached the judge and he had only given the families advice on the matter. He also claimed that he had never received money from the families.

He told the court that he needed to get out on bail because he suffered from diabetes and needed to take medication constantly.

However, prosecutor Johan Roothman said the State had a strong case against Tau.

He said they were waiting for cellphone records and bank statements that will implicate Tau.

When Lawrence asked why the police did not arrest the judge the State said: "We were advised by the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions] not to arrest the judge.”

The State also said the judge had denied seeing Tau.

Tau is also facing charges on an unrelated corruption matter which is due for trial in October.

Read more on:    corruption

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