selebi trial disrupted

ROUSER: This woman caused the court to be adjourned when she disrupted Jackie Selebi's corruption trial by asking to see Selebi's lawyer. Pic: Munyadziwa Nemutudi.  10/11/2009. © Sowetan.
ROUSER: This woman caused the court to be adjourned when she disrupted Jackie Selebi's corruption trial by asking to see Selebi's lawyer. Pic: Munyadziwa Nemutudi. 10/11/2009. © Sowetan.

A WOMAN in the public gallery disrupted Jackie Selebi's corruption trial yesterday by asking to see the former top cop's lawyer.

A WOMAN in the public gallery disrupted Jackie Selebi's corruption trial yesterday by asking to see the former top cop's lawyer.

"May I disturb the court? I'd like to see Jackie Selebi's lawyer immediately," the woman, dressed in a light green summer dress, told the Johannesburg high court in a loud voice.

She had interrupted the testimony of KPMG forensic auditor, Dean Friedman.

Judge Meyer Joffe appeared flabbergasted by the disruption and adjourned court for an orderly, and a representative of the state and defence to sort out the matter.

Outside the woman mentioned issues relating to cheques and cheques she was owed before being shuffled into a waiting room.

When court resumed, defence lawyer Jaap Cilliers told the judge: "We tried to have a conversation with her, but she was totally incoherent."

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said: "It's totally unrelated, I confirm that."

Friedman then resumed going over a forensic investigation report into Selebi's financial affairs, as well as the Spring Lights account. Slain mining magnate Brett Kebble and his associate John Stratton allegedly used the bank account of a company called Spring Lights to send Selebi's former self-proclaimed friend Glenn Agliotti payments.

Agliotti, a convicted drug trafficker turned State witness, previously testified he had asked Kebble and Stratton for a US1million (R7,4million) "consultancy fee" for access to Selebi.

Selebi faces a charge of corruption and another of defeating the ends of justice in connection with at least R1,2million he allegedly received from Agliotti and others in return for favours.

Meanwhile, state witness, forensic auditor Friedman, told the court yesterday that "inferences" could be drawn from the way Selebi handled his finances in 2005.

Friedman took the court through a graphic representation of Selebi's financial affairs.

Friedman is testifying about a forensic investigation report into Selebi's financial affairs, as well as the Spring Lights account.

He said the representation showed a reduction in cash withdrawals and credit card expenditure in the year.

"In October-November 2005 all expenditure goes down."

Friedman said Selebi kept large amounts of cash - his balance apparently did not go down below R79000 that year - in a low interest-bearing account.

"It is unexplained why he would have these massive amounts of cash in this account not bearing much interest."

Defence lawyer Jaap Cilliers then put it to him: "We are not busy evaluating the accused for his financial skills. We are investigating if there is currency or money from outside sources we cannot explain."

Friedman said he disagreed with Cilliers.

"One can infer a number of things. Mr Selebi might not have been financially as astute, which clearly is a criticism of his financial management. Or that there was such a flow of cash.

"If you have a lot of cash that becomes available, as has been alleged with Mr Selebi, then it can be an inference that can be drawn."

Selebi faces a charge of corruption and another of defeating the ends of justice in connection with R1,2million he allegedly received from Agliotti and others in return for favours. Cross examination continues. - Sapa

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