Ex-cop in guns-to-gangs case should be charged with murder – lawyer

2018-06-08 15:24
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Former police colonel Chris Prinsloo should be charged with the more than one thousand murders committed with firearms allegedly smuggled from police to criminals, an advocate has told the Western Cape High Court.

Pete Mihalik, the legal representative of Rondebosch businessman Irshaad "Hunter" Laher, told the court on Friday that he wanted to know if the State would charge Prinsloo with murder.

Prinsloo, now serving a jail sentence for crimes including theft and racketeering, previously said he had sold at least 2 000 firearms meant to be destroyed by police to Laher, who then allegedly sold them to gangsters.

It is believed 1 066 murders were carried out with 888 of the guns between 2010 and 2014.

At least 261 children were murdered or wounded between 2010 and 2016 with the guns.

READ: Police managers 'decimated' gun smuggling investigation resulting in murders - 2 top cops

Laher and Vereeniging arms dealer Alan Raves appeared in the dock in the Western Cape High Court on Friday for proceedings in preparation of a trial.

Prinsloo, Laher and Raves were arrested as part of a national gun smuggling investigation, said to have been the biggest in SA, named Project Impi.

Laher and Raves face various charges in the case, which focuses on the alleged sale of firearms meant to have been destroyed by police, but which ended up with gangsters around the province.

However, this is set to be elaborated on at a later stage as it is understood there may not be evidence linking the accused to having directly handed over firearms to criminals.

In a notice in which Raves said he wanted to apply for an order to prevent further postponements in the case, he said the State had conceded that he was not guilty of criminal activity relating to the sale of firearms to gangs.

Mihalik, addressing the court on Friday, noted Prinsloo's admission of the illegal sale of firearms.

'Prosecute him for murder'

"The State entered into a plea and sentencing agreement. On his (Prinsloo's) own admission he sold about 2 000 firearms to robbers and criminals," Mihalik said.

"He should be prosecuted for murder."

Prinsloo was convicted of charges including theft and racketeering and sentenced in June 2016 to a jail term.

READ: Ex-cop gets 18 years for stealing, reselling guns to Cape gangsters

Mihalik said the State had not yet indicated to him whether it would charge Prinsloo with murder.

In February prosecutor Christiaan de Jongh said the defence had previously indicated that it wanted "certain police dockets" disclosed.

There were about 2 400 dockets and De Jongh said it had been a massive task to scan and photocopy all of them.

The case is expected to resume on June 29. However, a trial date has not yet been set down.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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