Spy bosses to be roped in for Selebi’s defence

Former top cop Jackie Selebi is lining up four intelligence bosses to save him from corruption charges.

Selebi’s advocate, Jaap Cilliers, told the South Gauteng High Court this week he regards the evidence of these former and current spy bosses as “material” in clearing his client.

They are deputy national police commissioner Ray Lalla, former head of crime intelligence Mulangi Mphego, former National Intelligence Agency boss Manala Manzini, and his former deputy, Arthur Fraser, who has quit the NIA.

The Mail & Guardian understands that Selebi and his defence team are considering a three-pronged approach. An application for Selebi’s discharge will be built around drug dealer Glenn Agliotti’s unreliability as the state’s main witness and the state’s inability to prove Selebi was bribed.

If this fails, Cilliers could apply for the prosecutors to withdraw from the case. If strike two fails, Selebi will call in the former spy bosses.

Cilliers told Judge Meyer Joffe this week that he needed time to consult state witnesses who were not called to testify for the prosecution. They are now allowed to give evidence for the defence.

After consulting these witnesses Cilliers will decide whether he wants to bring an application to “recall” certain state witnesses, in particular Agliotti and his former fiancée, Dianne Muller.

Mphego, Manzini and Fraser could be called to elaborate on a recorded interview with Agliotti in January 2008 at a Sandton hotel. In the video Agliotti slams the Scorpions and accuses them of conspiracy.

Selebi would require Lalla to clarify circumstances in which a draft national intelligence estimate alleged that slain mining boss Brett Kebble was bribing Selebi.

Former intelligence coordinator Barry Gilder testified this week that the “rumour” was discussed at an intelligence meeting that Lalla attended.

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