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06 May 2009 11:20
Murderess Najwa Petersen has been refused leave to appeal her conviction.
In the decision handed down on Wednesday, Cape High Court judge Siraj Desai also refused leave to her co-accused Abdoer Emjedi.
They were found guilty in December last year of the 2006 execution-style slaying of Najwa’s husband, theatre legend Taliep Petersen.
“The totality of the evidence excludes any doubt about the guilt of accused numbers one and two,” Desai said.
“I am of the view that there are simply no reasonable prospects of another court coming to a different conclusion in this matter.”
He rejected argument by Najwa’s attorney, Reaz Khan, that the court had erred in finding that a security gate and a door to the Petersen’s family home were probably left open by Najwa to allow her hired hitmen access on the night of the murder.
Other errors of fact in the judgement that Khan had raised did not materially affect the court’s key findings, Desai said.
Khan’s claim that Desai had “descended into the arena” instead of remaining impartial when he questioned Najwa during her testimony, was “simply factually insupportable”.
Najwa in any case had had senior counsel, who would have objected to any improper questioning.
Advocate David Stephens, for Emjedi, had attacked the evidence of state witness Fahiem Hendricks.
Desai said Hendricks was undoubtedly a flawed witness but his evidence was borne out by “objective facts” including phone records and the testimony of another accused, Waheed Hassen.
Najwa was sentenced in February to an effective 28 years jail, Emjedi to 24.
Desai found Emjedi had been a middle man in arranging for Hassen to carry out the hit on Najwa’s instructions.—Sapa
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