National

Selebi challenges corruption conviction

Ilham Rawoot

Corrupt former police national commissioner Jackie Selebi has filed for leave to appeal against his conviction and sentence.

Corrupt former police national commissioner Jackie Selebi has filed for leave to appeal against his conviction and sentence.

Selebi was found guilty of corruption in July, and sentenced to 15 years in prison earlier this month, after Judge Meyer Joffe found that he had received R166 000 and clothing for his sons from drug dealer Glenn Agliotti.

Agliotti is currently on trial for the murder of mining magnate Brett Kebble in 2005.

The papers, which were filed on Tuesday morning in the South Gauteng High Court, claim that Selebi did not receive a fair trial, and list numerous legal and factual issues.

“The Honourable Court erred in not finding that the applicant did not receive a fair trial as envisaged in the Constitution,” say Selebi’s court papers.

Former police commissioner Jackie Selebi was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. This marked the end of a lengthy trial that revealed the workings of an organised crime network involving bribes, corruption and a R50 000 suit. The trial owes its existence mainly to investigative journalism by the M&G.

“It is further clear from Agliotti’s testimony that the state used improper methods and put undue pressure on Agliotti to implicate the applicant.”

Legal issues
The legal issues include claims that the court “erred in finding that the state proved its case against the applicant beyond reasonable doubt”, and “erred in finding that the denial by the applicant that he received any money or gratification from Agliotti — is not reasonably possibly true”.

The papers also allege that the court did not approach the evidence of Agliotti’s former fiancée, Dianne Muller, with “the necessary caution, in view of the fact that she was an accomplice pertaining to the issues that she testified about”.

The papers also list Joffe’s refusal to recuse himself, and his refusal to allow Selebi entitlement to an acquittal after the closure of the state’s case, as reasons for the application.

Regarding Selebi’s sentence, the papers say that Joffe should have found “substantial and compelling circumstances which justified the imposition of a lesser sentence”.

Joffe will now have to decide whether another judge could have made a different finding in Selebi’s trial, and hence grant or refuse him leave to appeal.

The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, supported by M&G Media and the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, produced this story.www.amabhungane.co.za.

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