Jason Rohde granted leave to appeal conviction and sentence for killing wife

2019-07-02 10:16
Jason Rohde. (Photo: Adrian de Kock)

Jason Rohde. (Photo: Adrian de Kock)

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Property mogul Jason Rohde was granted leave to appeal his conviction and sentence for the murder of his wife Susan in Stellenbosch, it emerged on Tuesday.

Rohde was on Monday granted his application to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

A date has not yet been set for the hearing.

His legal team indicated that they will apply for bail pending the appeal hearing.

Rohde was sentenced to an effective 20 years in prison in February for killing his wife Susan and staging her suicide at the Spier hotel in Stellenbosch three years ago.

In April, the Western Cape High Court refused his application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence.

Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe said the defence had rehashed arguments made during Rohde's trial and sentencing proceedings and that the submissions had already been decided on.

"I am of the view that the applicant has not satisfied this court that he has a reasonable chance of success," she said.

Salie-Hlophe referenced Rohde's history as the former CEO of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty by comparing the staging of his wife's suicide to estate agents' staging of a house.

"Gleaning from the crime scene photos and other evidence, you used your wife's body as a showhouse to sell the concept that she had taken her own life."

Salie-Hlophe said 18 years for the murder was an appropriate sentence as well as five years for obstructing justice for trying to make Susan's death look self-inflicted. The court ordered that three of the obstructing justice sentence run concurrently with the sentence for the murder.

Rohde, who was not present during Tuesday’s proceedings, maintained his innocence throughout the trial. His position was that his affair drove his wife to take her life.

In the leave to appeal application, defence lawyer Graham van der Spuy argued that Rohde had prospects of success on appeal.

He dug into the medical pathology evidence of Dr Akmal Coetzee-Khan and pathologist Dr Deidre Abrahams, saying there were numerous shortcomings and errors in their testimony.

Prosecutor Louis van Niekerk had said while the defence placed special focus on the pathology-related evidence, the case should be seen in context of all of the evidence presented.

Read more on:    jason rohde  |  susan rohde  |  cape town  |  courts  |  crime
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