Fri Oct 21 23:59:03 CAT 2016

mcbride's team in new court bid

By unknown | Apr 22, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sipho Masombuka

Sipho Masombuka

Magistrate Peet Johnson yesterday postponed to Thursday the fraud, drunken driving and defeating the ends of justice trial of Ekurhuleni Metro police chief Robert McBride.

The postponement was made to give McBride's legal team a chance to serve documents on the Witwatersrand director of public prosecutions, advocate Charin de Beer, and to prepare further legal argument regarding statements by state witnesses made in other cases being formulated against McBride.

McBride's lawyers want De Beer to give input into the matter after they [lawyers] failed yesterday to force the prosecution to hand them the state witness statements in other cases which are due to be heard in courts in Johannesburg.

The defence wanted to know if such statements existed and whether the statements would be of advantage to the state's case in the Pretoria trial.

The defence argued that this was important because McBride had a right to a fair trial.

The state did not deny that such statements existed but said they (the statements) were irrelevant to the charges McBride is facing in the Pretoria magistrate's court.

State prosecutor Christo Roberts said there must be a reason why the directorate of public prosecutions had refused the defence access to the statements.

The senior counsel for McBride , Guido Penzhorn, told Sowetan that he did not know which other charge or charges were being investigated against his client.

"That is why we want access to the documents," Penzhorn said.

Johnson dismissed the application, saying he did not have the jurisdiction to make such an order and that it would not be in the interests of justice to do so.

McBride has pleaded not guilty to the charges of fraud, defeating the ends of justice and drunken driving.

The defence has also questioned the credibility of the statements made to the police by prosecution witnesses and former senior Metro police officials Itumeleng Koko, Stanley Sagathevan and Patrick Johnson.

In their first statements to the police, the three had said McBride was not drunk when his car rolled, but they later changed their tune.

Penzhorn argued that the first statement was true and the witnesses had made the second, "false" statements because they had been promised indemnity for their involvement in cash-in-transit heists.

This was vehemently denied by the three state witnesses - Koko, Sagathevan and Johnson - under cross-examination.


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