State dragging its feet with drunk driver accused - defence

2017-05-09 18:42
Aksel Otterbeck. (Facebook)

Aksel Otterbeck. (Facebook)

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Cape Town - The case involving the man accused of killing a Swedish national when he allegedly drove under the influence of alcohol is being dragged by the state, defence lawyer Anthony Berinato told the Cape Town Magistrate's court on Tuesday.

This came after prosecutor Adiel Jansen asked the court to postpone Darrel Kevin Fouter's case for further investigation.

Fouter, 28, faces charges of culpable homicide and drunken driving. He allegedly knocked over and killed Aksel Otterbeck, 19, when he sped down Arum Road in Table View on December 14 last year.

During his court appearance, Berinato argued that the matter be removed from the court roll to give the state time to properly prepare for trial.

"The state is dragging its feet. They had two months [since the last postponement], what have they done in that time?" Berinato asked.

"Are we postponing the case just to be standing in the same place in a month's time?"

READ: Legacy of Swedish volunteer killed in Table View lives on

Outstanding statements

Berinato argued that Fouter has the right to a speedy trial.

"My client suffers stress and worry with every court appearance as well as the financial burden to appear each time," Berinato said.

Jansen told the court that "a few" statements were still outstanding as well as reconstruction of the accident scene and an expert report.

In March, the court heard that the blood alcohol tests and a medical report of Otterbeck were still outstanding.

Magistrate Joe Magele said he had to weigh up the interests of the accused and the interest of justice.

"It is well known if a person is accused a person suffers prejudice and a financial and emotional burden," Magele said.

Magele said the charges against Fouter were serious and as such a drastic step to remove the case from the roll cannot be considered.

He postponed the matter to June 27.

Outside court advocate Hansie Linde, who is assisting the Otterbeck family in the investigation, said they were aggrieved by the court considering removing it off the court roll.

"Jesper Otterbeck [Aksel's father] said he is absolutely shocked and terrified that a request like this could even be entertained," Linde told News24.

"Naturally, they thought that the court would allow enough time for case investigated and are hence surprised by the fact that it is being considered."

Linde said he was hired as the family believes the South African authorities are under resourced.

"The family has full faith in the South African justice system; they have no choice but to have," he said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  accidents  |  crime

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