NPA wants Selebi trial postponed

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) applied to have police national commissioner Jackie Selebi’s trial postponed on Tuesday.

“The state will apply for a postponement of the trial,” said Gerrie Nel.

Selebi arrived quietly shortly before proceedings began, setting a bottle of water down as he took his place in the dock.

He sat impassively as cameras circled him ahead of the arrival of the judge.

Selebi faces two charges of corruption and one of defeating the ends of justice relating to payments he allegedly received from slain mining entrepreneur Brett Kebble and his associate Glenn Agliotti.

He is currently on paid leave.

In recently filed court papers, Selebi said there had been a conspiracy to remove him from his position. This had occurred in the fall-out from the decision to place the NPA’s investigative unit, the Scorpions, under the administration of the police, instead of the Justice Department.

The investigation into Selebi started in January 2006.

In support of his application to postpone the trial, Nel traced the history of the investigation and presented some of the difficulties they had experienced in the course of their work.

These included an application by Selebi to prevent the State from investigating a cancelled arrest warrant amid the removal of former NPA head Vusi Pikoli.

Selebi had never been arrested—he was invited to appear in court.

On June 26 last year in the Randburg Regional Court, Selebi applied for the matter to be struck off the roll but the case was postponed to this Tuesday.

“This is in fact m’lord the first request for a postponement,” said Nel.

The postponement was needed to gather further particulars and do further investigation, relating largely to the police’s “lack of cooperation”, he said.—Sapa

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