Selebi trial told of missing intelligence file

Three months before Glenn Agliotti alleges he was shown an incriminating British intelligence report by former police chief Jackie Selebi, the file containing the reports went missing from the police’s crime intelligence offices.

This was the evidence of Commissioner Mark Hankel, information manager for police crime intelligence, in the South Gauteng High Court on Thursday.

Hankel was the first police officer to give evidence in Selebi’s corruption trial.

He provided the court with detail about Operation Chaser—a crime intelligence probe into drug dealing. The police collated a file on Agliotti during this operation.

When the Scorpions requested to see the file in February 2009, Hankel saw it had been booked out in April 2006 by a Captain Tema, a colleague of Hankel.
Agliotti testified earlier that Selebi showed him the file at his Midrand offices in July of that same year.

The report had been sent to the police by Her Majesty’s Customs agency in the United Kingdom, showing that it had been monitoring Agliotti’s trips overseas. “I have not been able to trace that file,” said Hankel.

During cross-examination, Selebi’s counsel, Jaap Cilliers, put it to Hankel that Captain Tema provided the state with an affidavit two weeks ago claiming that he returned the file four months after removing it in 2006.

An upset Hankel told the court he had no knowledge about Tema returning the file and was angry when questions arose about the integrity of his unit.

Hankel further testified that he had seen telephone records of calls between Agliotti and Selebi that formed part of Operation Chaser. While collating information on Agliotti, he stumbled across the records of conversations that took place between the two during the period July 4 to August 20 2004.

During this seven-week period, Selebi made 16 calls to Agliotti and Agliotti made 41 calls to the then police commissioner.

Earlier on Thursday, police reservist Aubrey Schlugman told the court that he was called to an armed robbery at Agliotti’s apartment block in Morningside a few years ago.

A surprise awaited him: “We established that it had been a double hijacking. The complainant was an Israeli who owned an upmarket apartment in the complex — I was processing paperwork, a white male [Agliotti] and white female came in. I heard him on his cellphone, he was busy with a call.

“He then tapped me on the shoulder and said: ‘The commissioner would like to speak to you.’ I was a bit taken aback. After all these years of service, the commissioner is phoning me. I asked: ‘Which commissioner?’ He said: ‘The national commissioner’.”

Schlugman told the court that he introduced himself and recognised Selebi’s voice. “I briefed the accused and was told that: ‘[Agliotti] is a good fiend of mine, please look after him’ — I subsequently established after the call that the man was Glenn Agliotti.”

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