Cellphone records contested in Lamoer trial
AVOLLEYBALL field and a courtroom in the Western Cape High Court had a lot in common, as the State and defence argued in the case of former Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer.
The case is set to begin with a trial within a trial where the two sides will argue over the cellphone record used.
Lamoer and three brigadiers: Darius van der Ross, Sharon Govender and her husband Colin Govender, together with businessman Salim Dawjee face 109 charges of corruption, racketeering and money laundering involving R1.6 million.
The defence raised concerns over the State’s behaviour, stating they had reasonable suspicion that they haven’t received all the information that the State had, and the fact that the evidence regarding affidavits had gone missing, only to reappear.
The matter yesterday focused on the defence’s request to subpoena cellphone records from service providers Vodacom and MTN, arguing that they cannot be limited while the State is unlimited.
The defence is seeking to get confirmation from one of the witnesses dealing with the cellphones records, that everything they would have received would be all the records that had been submitted.
The defence had attempted to get the complete cellphone records via a subpoena sent to cellphone service providers, however State prosecutor Billy Downer revealed that they could only have a redacted version.
The State said that the redacted information was not relevant to the case, but they had handed over all the records they had. Defence advocate William King SC, who is representing Dawjee, said they were not happy having to reveal strategy when cross-examining in the trial within a trial due to the concern of having access to all the cellphone records.
“We cannot challenge the witness’ version without having had access to the information.”
After a long day debating, Judge Rosheni Allie came to a decision where the subpoena to the service providers would go out, which would then be lodged with the court registrar.
Thereafter, the State would redact information not relevant to the case, whereafter the defence would get access. The case continues tomorrow.
ACCESS: Former provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer, right, outside the Western Cape High Court.