/ 28 February 2008

Fraud charge against Nassif withdrawn

A charge of insurance fraud against Clinton Nassif, former security head for slain mining magnate Brett Kebble, was withdrawn in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

”The accused is a witness in other matters we are pursuing,” prosecutor Patrick Nkuna told the court in withdrawing the charge.

”The complainant in this matter has been compensated and is satisfied,” Nkuna submitted.

Nassif’s lawyer, Marius du Toit, indicated that he had ”no objection” to the decision.

Nassif appeared relaxed as he stood in the dock, wearing a charcoal pin-striped suit, pink shirt and black tie.

”I’m told this is the end of the road, at least as far as this matter is concerned,” magistrate Phanuel Mudau told him.

The fraud charge related to Nassif’s alleged submission of a false insurance claim for a damaged vehicle.

Scorpions Gauteng boss advocate Gerrie Nel indicated during a previous appearance that the amount involved was R900 000.

On Thursday, however, Du Toit would not reveal the amount of compensation Nassif had paid.

He believed it was not in his client’s interest to disclose what he describes as ”the confidential amount” agreed to in negotiations, which had been going on for some time.

The withdrawal of charges was part of a plea agreement reached with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and which could involve Nassif testifying for the state in the Kebble murder trial and the case against police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi, who is on leave pending his own trial.

NPA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said Nassif was granted his ”freedom” on ”certain conditions”.

He was expected to ”cooperate and testify” in other matters the Scorpions were investigating. — Sapa