The latest legal skirmish between Dave King and the state has ended in a split decision favouring the businessman in the area that matters most.
The latest legal skirmish between Dave King and the state has ended in a split decision favouring the businessman in the area that matters most access to information about the case against him. It also dealt him a blow in the area he can easily absorb it his pocket.
King made about R1,2-billion from selling his company, Specialised Outsourcing, and has since been defending himself against charges of fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and racketeering.
Pretoria High Court judge, Ronnie Bosielo, ruled this week that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) must provide King with a “motivated index” of parts of its 200 000 page investigation into his affairs. The NPA had wanted to keep the docket confidential.
The state is not required to actually hand King’s legal team the documents, including investigation diaries and internal emails. However, it must provide a detailed list of the items explaining why they are either privileged or irrelevant to the 322 main charges against the businessman.
“Undoubtedly, the right of the applicant to a fair trial outweighs whatever inconvenience or costs the respondent may suffer in having to prepare a motivated index,” Bosielo said.
King told the Mail & Guardian the ruling was proof that it was not him who had unreasonably delayed his trial, but the withholding of information by the state.
King had also sought an order that the NPA give him a free copy of the docket, claiming that his right to a fair trial would be compromised if it did not. The prosecuting authority’s R1 per page photocopying charge was “exorbitant”, he claimed.
Bosielo was having none of that. “One need not be a rocket scientist to realise that the fees payable to his legal team are far in excess of what he is required to pay for his copy of the docket,” Bosielo said.
A policy, which required the better-off to bear such costs, while the state covered them in cases involving the poor was “eminently practical, pragmatic and realistic, given our country’s socio-economic conditions,” he said.
Each side was ordered to pay its own costs which will have been considerable. The state was represented by the star team of Wim Trengrove and Geoff Budlender. In King’s corner were the equally well-known Gilbert Marcus and Matthew Chaskalson.
Next year will be an interesting one for King as the tax and criminal cases against him get into full swing. Meanwhile the criminal investigation into an allegedly fraudulent “settlement” negotiated on King’s behalf by cronies of Glenn Agliotti the man accused of killing Brett Kebble will continue.