Scorpions prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the Gauteng North high court yesterday that the case against national police commissioner Jackie Selebi was being delayed by lack of cooperation from the police.
Selebi is charged with corruption and defeating the ends of justice.
Nel told Judge Meyer Joffe about the difficulty of accessing vital evidence from the police relating to Selebi.
"We received no cooperation from senior members of the police. We were only allowed to view documents but not to take them," said Nel.
Nel said acting police commissioner Tim Williams had told the Scorpions that Selebi was still in charge.
Nel said Selebi had access to classified evidence, including the DVD featuring state witness Glenn Agliotti.
Nel said claims that the Scorpions targeted Selebi because of his influence in the disintegration of the unit were false.
"When the investigation against the accused started in January 2006 nobody knew about steps to close the Scorpions."
Nel said police were now cooperating and the Scorpions would be ready for trial in two months.
He said the State would suffer more prejudice than Selebi should a postponement not be granted.
"The prejudice the State will suffer outweighs the prejudice of the accused," he said.
"We could not have foreseen that getting cooperation would be so long."
Selebi's defence pleaded with the court to withdraw the charges, arguing they could be reinstated when the State was ready.
The case was postponed to May 4 to set a trial date.