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Ilham Rawoot, Verashni Pillay14 Oct 2009 11:56
Convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti spent Wednesday morning bearing the brunt of questions from defence counsel Jaap Cilliers, who again lambasted him for lying to the court. ‘You look the honourable court in the eye and you still lie,” Cilliers said.
Cilliers continued with his line of questioning from Tuesday, pointing out Agliotti’s unreliability and his aversion to telling the truth, and asked him why never mentioned in his sworn statements that he ‘never bribed the accused”.
Cilliers referred Agliotti to a major discrepancy between his sworn statements signed on January 4 and January 10 2008.
In his first affidavit, typed by businesswoman Tanya Volschenk following a meeting with members of the National Intelligence Agency and police commissioner Mulangi Mphego, Agliotti said that he never maintained he had bribed Selebi, and that he was not going to testify.
In the January 10 statement however, written by Agliotti’s advocate, he changed his tune, saying, ‘I have never maintained that I never, ever, bribed Selebi.” When questioned on this, Agliotti said, ‘It’s not my verbiage.”
He also put it down to his misunderstanding of the term ‘bribe”, and when it was explained to him by his lawyer, he changed the wording.
‘I’m not au fait with the actual law terminology of bribery. I didn’t understand it,” said Agliotti.
He also attempted to blame it on a ‘typing error”.
‘On what conceivable cause can this ever be a typing error?” asked Cilliers.
Cilliers attributed Agliotti’s changing of the phrase to the anger of the Scorpions—which Agliotti became aware of following the January 4 affidavit—and to him needing to please them to obtain indemnity.
When Cilliers asked Agliotti if he had specifically asked his advocate to lie in the affidavit, he responded, ‘I would never tell him to lie. It was my verbiage. Yes, it was a lie.”
‘Why did you lie to his lordship?” asked Cilliers. ‘Does it come naturally?” ‘No,” replied Agliotti, ‘If it was untruthful, I apologise”.
Cilliers also attempted to introduce into evidence a video that had been made of the meeting on January 4, which Cilliers said, ‘may very well lead to the end of the state’s case”.
State prosecutor Gerrie Nel objected however, saying Agliotti maintained the video was made ‘off the record”.
The issue will be argued on Thursday morning.
Read more from Ilham Rawoot
Verashni Pillay is the former editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian, and inaugural editor-in chief of Huffington Post South Africa. She has worked at various periods as senior reporter covering politics and general news, specialises in mediamanagement and relishes the task of putting together the right team to create compelling and principled journalism across multiple platforms. Read more from Verashni Pillay
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