State withdraws child porn, sexual exploitation, grooming charges against deceased advocate Paul Kennedy

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Paul Kennedy.
Paul Kennedy.
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  • Criminal charges against Paul Kennedy were formally withdrawn, after his death in February. 
  • The State informed the court on Monday that the death certificate had been received. 
  • The case against Kennedy's co-accused is expected to go ahead. 

The State has formally withdrawn criminal charges against senior advocate Paul Kennedy, following his death in February.

Kennedy's co-accused, who cannot be named until he has pleaded to the charges, appeared in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Monday.

State prosecutor Valencia Dube began proceedings by handing Kennedy's death certificate to the court. 

Kennedy took his life at his Johannesburg home on 21 February, just a week before he was meant to return to court. 

Dube formally withdrew the charges against the well-known advocate, who also acted as a high court judge. 

READ | Zondo Commission still used child rape-accused advocate Paul Kennedy after he was charged

Kennedy and his co-accused were charged with more than 700 counts of possession of child pornography, compelled sexual assault, sexual exploitation of children, the sexual grooming of children, benefitting of the services of a child victim of trafficking, financing, controlling or organising the trafficking of a child victim and rape. 

Kennedy was facing three counts of rape and compelled rape, while his co-accused has been charged with two counts of rape, multiple counts of human trafficking, and the sexual grooming of children. 

He allegedly facilitated arrangements for the victims to travel to Johannesburg, where the boys were allegedly raped and sexually assaulted.

News24 previously reported Kennedy was set to be charged with attempted murder after one of his alleged victims tested positive for HIV. 

During a previous court appearance earlier in February, Kennedy and his co-accused were ordered to take HIV tests after it emerged that one of the victims, a teenage boy, had tested positive for the virus.

READ | Top advocate accused of child rape ordered to take HIV test after victim returns positive result

After receiving the results of the blood tests, Dube, without revealing the results, said the State would charge both accused with attempted murder. 

However, she said the indictment had to be amended after receiving the HIV tests, which were performed on Kennedy and his co-accused on 1 February.

While the matter against Kennedy was withdrawn because of his death, his co-accused is expected to be charged with attempted murder once the indictment is amended. 

Joining of other cases 

Dube asked the court for a postponement on Monday, saying the State had been made aware of other cases against Kennedy's co-accused and that those cases would be joined. 

She explained that, while charges would be added against the accused, the State also had to amend the charge sheet following Kennedy's death. 

The matter was postponed to 11 April. 


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