/ 9 April 2009

DA lays charges against Zuma’s lawyer, NIA boss

The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Dianne Kohler-Barnard laid criminal charges against African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma’s lawyer Michael Hulley and National Intelligence Agency (NIA) deputy head Arthur Fraser on Thursday.

The charges relate to the possession and distribution of allegedly illegal tape recordings.

These led to corruption and fraud charges against Zuma being dropped by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Monday.

Speaking outside Durban Central Police Station on Thursday, Kohler-Barnard said she had laid charges against Hulley for allegedly being in possession of illegal stolen recordings of intercepted telephone conversations.

”We have also laid a charge against the National Intelligence Agency (NIA)’s deputy director general for operations, Arthur Fraser,” she said.

A national newspaper had quoted three independent sources identifying Fraser as the one who had passed tapes on to Zuma’s legal team.

Kohler-Barnard said neither Hulley nor his client were state officials and Hulley appeared to have obtained the tapes specifically for the purpose of assisting Zuma.

She had laid a charge of possession of stolen property against Hulley, and not a charge of theft, as she said earlier.

Kohler-Barnard said she had laid charges in terms of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication Related Information Act 70 of 2002.

”In terms of Sections 2 and 49(1) of the Act, no person may intercept, or authorise or procure any other person to intercept any communication except in certain limited circumstances,” she said.

Journalists who wanted to witness Barnard laying charges were stopped by security guards. e.tv cameraman Thuthuka Zondi was pushed around by a security guard and journalists laid a complaint to police provincial spokesperson Director Phindile Radebe.

Hulley and Fraser were not immediately available for comment. — Sapa