Squabbling eclipses Selebi trial

BICKERING between the defence and state in the corruption case of former police head Jackie Selebi punctuated proceedings in the Johannesburg high court yesterday.

Defence lawyer Jaap Cilliers and prosecutor Gerrie Nel got into a dispute over whether certain annexures from an affidavit by state witness Glenn Agliotti had been handed over.

As the re-examination of Agliotti got under way, Cilliers said the state was referring to annexures it had not received.

Nel said he was upset at being called a "liar" and was adamant all evidence the defence had requested had been handed over.

Judge Meyer Joffe adjourned court for the two parties to sort out the issue.

During the adjournment, the exchange between counsel appeared heated with Cilliers gesturing with his hand towards Nel.

After the adjournment it was clear the dispute was not resolved, and Joffe said the two parties needed to sort out the issue.

"I don't want to get involved with an unseemly fight between the defence and state unless I have to."

The counsel agreed re-examination of Agliotti would continue but would refer to issues not related to the disputed annexures.

Earlier, the defence asked for an application to put on record various complaints against the prosecution.

"We have complained about the statement we received (from the prosecution very late). We haven't received certain statements," Cilliers said.

Yesterday, Nel appeared surprised by the defence's application.

"This is the first I have heard about this. I never expected this."

Selebi is facing a charge of corruption and another of defeating the ends of justice. - Sapa