Date is set for verdict in Petersen murder trial

Judgment in the Taliep Petersen murder trial will be handed down on December 1, Cape high court judge Siraj Desai said.

Judgment in the Taliep Petersen murder trial will be handed down on December 1, Cape high court judge Siraj Desai said.

He made the announcement yesterday at the end of two and a half days of closing arguments in a hearing which started in April.

Desai, who is sitting with two assessors, said there had been a great deal of evidence and it would be a difficult, long and tedious task to evaluate it all.

Petersen's widow Najwa and three alleged hitmen have been charged with murdering the renowned entertainer in the couple's Athlone, Cape Town, home on the night of December 16 2006.

Najwa's co-accused, Waheed Hassen and Jefferson Snyders, have admitted to a role in events on that night. But Snyders' advocate, Roelf Konstabel, argued that Desai should find his client not guilty on all charges - murder, an alternative of conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and robbery.

He repeated the claim Snyders made when he testified - that Hassen had told him they were going to stage a robbery for someone who wanted to claim from insurance. When Snyders realised that Taliep was going to be shot, he left the scene, dissociating himself from the killing, Konstabel said.

Questioned by Desai on why he did not leave when he realised Hassen had a gun, Konstabel said Snyders did not know then whether the gun was real. - Sapa

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