Charges against three former senior South African Revenue Service (SARS) officials accused of involvement in the so-called rogue unit have been withdrawn.
In a statement issued on Friday by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), it said National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) advocate Shamila Batohi had decided to withdraw charges against Ivan Pillay, Andries Janse van Rensburg and Johan van Loggerenberg.
The men were charged with offences relating to the bugging of the offices of the erstwhile Scorpions and NPA in 2007. It was alleged bugging equipment had been installed at the NPA's head offices in Silverton, Pretoria.
They were also charged with contravening the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act and corruption, while Pillay and Van Loggerenberg were accused of illegally giving R100 000 to a person whose name has been withheld.
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Following protracted litigation and communication between the three accused and NPA, a review panel was set up consisting of the director of public prosecutions, Barry Madolo, the acting director of public prosecutions, advocate Indra Goberdan, and the deputy director of public prosecutions, advocate Adrian Mopp.
"After a careful assessment of the evidence and other relevant material, the unanimous conclusion of the panel in respect of all counts, is that there are no reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution.
"The panel recommends that all charges against the accused be withdrawn," NPA head of communications Bulelwa Makeke said in the statement.
She added the NDPP had agreed with the panel and therefore decided to withdraw all the charges against the accused.
The three were expected to return to court on 17 February.
- Compiled by Vanessa Banton