/ 21 April 2008

Taliep murder accused shows remorse on police video

The Cape High Court on Monday watched a police video in which murder accused Waheed Hassen not only admitted to a role in the killing of Taliep Petersen, but expressed remorse.

The video came at the start of the second day of a trial within a trial, in which Hassen is contesting the admissibility of statements he made to the police.

He, Petersen’s wife, Najwa, Abdoer Emjedi and Jefferson Snyders have all pleaded not guilty to the December 2006 execution-style killing.

The video, screened by the prosecution, showed Hassen being questioned by Superintendent Deon Spangenberg, commander of the police’s Khayelitsha detective branch, preparatory to making a full statement.

During the video Hassen, wearing a black leather jacket, appeared relaxed, at one stage unwrapping and eating what appeared to be a sweet, at another joking when Spangenberg gave him his police ID to inspect: ”Meneer looks a bit young in the photo.”

The video and the accompanying statement were taken on June 20 last year, two days after Hassen’s arrest.

Asked by Spangenberg how he acquired knowledge of the incident he was about to make a statement on, Hassen said: ”I was involved in a crime, that made me realise afterwards that I had only been misused.”

And when Spangenberg wrote that down, he asked the detective to add that he expressed remorse for the murder.

”Were you assaulted, threatened or influenced by anyone to make a statement?” asked Spangenberg.

”No,” replied Hassen.

Hassen said that at one point a policeman had poked his cheekbone with a finger, but he had not felt intimidated by the incident.

He also showed Spangenberg abrasion marks on his left wrist, left by handcuffs, but added: ”It’s nothing.”

When Spangenberg asked him to confirm that he was not currently under the influence of strong liquor or drugs, he laughed, and answered: ”No.”

Spangenberg told the court Hassen signed every page of the statement, and added his right thumb print.

At no stage had he got the impression Hassen did not want to make the statement, or that he was influenced or threatened to do so. — Sapa