State calls Selebi 'a lying witness'
The police intercepted the “email” that former chief of police Jackie Selebi showed to convicted drug dealer Glen Agliotti, the state told the South Gauteng High Court on Monday afternoon during closing argument in Selebi’s marathon corruption trial.
Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel said that Selebi came into possession of the email by means of a deliberate interception, and not through media reports as Selebi had said in his evidence. Nel says Selebi did this because he “intended to warn Agliotti about a DSO [directorate of special operations] investigation that implicated him”.
The email was sent by former airports security boss Paul O’Sullivan to the Scorpions, with affidavits by various people giving sensitive information about the Kebble murder case and related drug-trafficking. “He was showing him to warn the middleman, and to tell him to warn the Kebbles,” Nel told the court.
Nel also delved into the fifth of what he called Selebi’s “big five lies”, which he says make it clear that Selebi should be convicted of corruption and defeating the ends of justice. He said that a classified document, also known as “the UK report”, which Selebi allegedly showed to Agliotti, had been another point proving that Selebi was a “lying witness”. He said that Selebi fabricated the document that he showed to the court, and is in possession of the original.
Significantly, Nel revealed on Monday that Selebi’s lawyer, Jaap Cilliers, did not use any of Selebi’s evidence in the defence’s closing heads of argument.
Nel was vicious in his portrayal of Selebi, calling him “an arrogant and disrespectful person who was over-impressed with his own seniority and perceived importance, and who would ‘crawl’ to no one”.
Nel covered four other ‘lies’, which he said involved Selebi changing his version repeatedly; lying about holding a meeting with then-national director of public prosecutions Vusi Pikoli; pretending to co-author a list of expenses with his wife; and saying that his wife shredded expenditure receipts.
Nel says that the meeting that Selebi claims he had with Pikoli in 2005 never happened at all. In this meeting Selebi claims he had confronted Pikoli about, among other things, shares that Pikoli’s wife received in a Kebble-owned mining company. Pikoli denies that the meeting took place.
The prosecution claimed Selebi was a terrible witness, having changed his version of events several times and on several issues. An example given by the Nel was that Selebi would change his version on how he attended meetings with, or arranged by, drug dealer Glenn Agliotti with parties including Zimbabwean businessman Billy Rautenbach and Jordanian businessman Eyhab Jumean.
Selebi also claims that he co-authored an exhibit that shows household expenses, while Nel says that he had no hand in it.
Nel told the court that while Selebi claimed that his wife shredded receipts that would’ve shown the family’s expenses, this never happened. The receipts never existed, because goods were paid for in cash by money that Selebi received from Agliotti, Nel said.
Nel also mentioned Selebi’s consultation with a state witness, Captain Marcus Tema, during the trial. “Even more appalling was his attempt to explain that he never knew Tema was a state witness or that his wife could be a defence witness.”
The state will end its closing argument tomorrow.