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28 Sep 2010 12:23
Twitter’s traffic celebrity PigSpotter has hired a lawyer and approached the Director of Public Prosecutions to have charges against him dropped.
The Twitter user, who faces trouble with the law for warning motorists about speed traps, is being represented by lawyer Karl Schuler.
“I can confirm that we’ve handed in representations to the Director of Public Prosecutions in Gauteng for them to make a decision as to whether to carry on with the matter,” Schuler told the South African Press Association.
“We’ve requested them not to institute prosecution.”
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga confirmed this.
Schuler, who said he would hold any information about PigSpotter’s identity “close to his chest”, was hired by the Twitter user who has raised the ire of law enforcement agencies.
PigSpotter boasts over 20 000 followers on Twitter and tips motorists off about speed traps and road blocks.
The metro police opened a case of crimen injuria and obstructing and defeating the ends of justice at Sophiatown police station earlier this month.
‘Has there been a crime committed?
Schuler said the DPP needed to decide whether a crime had in fact taken place.
“The essence of the matter comes down to, has there been a crime committed? Is it a crime to make information which is publicly available, available to the public?,” asked Schuler.
“The root of this matter speaks to freedom of speech and the freedom to receive and impart information and ideas,” said Schuler.
He said the representations were handed to the DPP on September 23.
He did not know when a decision would be made.
If the state decided to prosecute, PigSpotter would consider handing himself over.
“Yes, most certainly. We’ve played open cards,” said Schuler.
Mhaga said PigSpotter’s docket was “still under consideration with a view as whether anyone can be prosecuted”.
He said he could not “commit to time frames” as to when a decision would be made.
On Tuesday, PigSpotter continued to do provide updates on his Twitter page.
PigSpotter also has an explanation for the term “pig” he uses to describe metro cops—it is an abbreviation for “Police in Gauteng”.
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