Crime intelligence operatives don't do court, Lamoer trial told

2017-10-18 22:23
Arno Lamoer. (File Netwerk24)

Arno Lamoer. (File Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – Crime intelligence operatives might stake out targets, secretly listen to conversations and clandestinely collect information in the harshest of conditions, but one thing they do not do is testify in court.

This emerged on Wednesday during the trial within a trial of former Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer and four others facing corruption charges in the Western Cape High Court.

William King SC, for co-accused Salim Dawjee, wanted to know why the intelligence operatives who had conducted secret surveillance were left off the witness list, given their role in building the case against the accused.

Alleged corruption

In the witness box was investigating officer Abdul Enus, commander of the corruption unit at the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, otherwise known as the Hawks.

Enus said it was exceptionally rare for crime intelligence officials to come to court to testify and that only about 10% of the current case was built on their surveillance – not the 90% the defence claimed.

Lamoer, tow truck company owner Dawjee, brigadiers Darius van der Ross, Sharon Govender and her husband Colin Govender face 109 charges related to alleged corruption.

They don't want their people in court

Dawjee is alleged to have given the four money and covered private bills in exchange for favours.

One charge related to how a gun police seized during a raid allegedly ended up in the hands of a private individual.

The defence has been questioning the legal validity of much of the evidence-gathering methods and any secret surveillance done in a trial within a trial.Under questioning by King, Enus said there was nothing unusual about crime intelligence officers not going to court.

Intelligence officers

Testimony is left to investigating officers such as himself, who are provided with information the operatives consider relevant to a case, he explained. 

"That is the case with intelligence officers in all matters. They don't want their people in court".

The trial within a trial continues, but will stand down on Thursday and proceed on Monday to accommodate those involved in the case who celebrate Diwali.

Read more on:    arno lamoer  |  cape town  |  crime

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