Selebi trial: NPA wins battle against Security Ministry

Former intelligence coordinator Barry Gilder will be allowed to testify in the corruption trial of former police boss Jackie Selebi, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Tuesday.

The State Security Ministry had approached the Constitutional Court to prevent Gilder from taking the stand in the Selebi trial, which resumes on March 1.

“It [the Constitutional Court] has found in our favour,” said NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga.

“We will now proceed to subpoena Mr Gilder for March 1 so that we can proceed.”

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg and the Supreme Court of Appeal had ruled that Gilder testify in camera in the corruption trial of the former police national commissioner.

The ministry then took the matter to the highest court in the land, contending that it was unconstitutional for the NPA to summons Gilder without the permission of the state security director general.

The state wants Gilder to testify about a 2005 draft intelligence report that contained a single paragraph about allegedly untoward payments Selebi was receiving from slain mining magnate Brett Kebble.

The ministry argued that forcing Gilder to testify could set a precedent — with serious constitutional ramifications — where intelligence information could be compromised.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has previously argued in court that the testimony wanted from Gilder is already in the public domain and has been mentioned by several witnesses in their testimony.

Selebi faces a count of corruption and another of defeating the ends of justice in connection with R1,2-million he allegedly received from Kebble, convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti and former Hyundai boss Billy Rautenbach in return for favours.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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