Van Breda’s le­gal team gets tough

CityPress - - News - JULIAN JANSEN news@city­

Af­ter a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion span­ning 18 months, it was pres­sure from Henri van Breda’s le­gal team that com­pelled the state to fi­nally ar­rest him.

Van Breda, who has been charged with mur­der­ing three fam­ily mem­bers with an axe and at­tempt­ing to mur­der a fourth, was this week re­leased on bail.

The de­ci­sion to pros­e­cute was taken on Mon­day in a meet­ing be­tween the in­ves­ti­ga­tion team and ad­vo­cate Adrian Mopp, deputy direc­tor of pub­lic pros­e­cu­tions in the West­ern Cape.

As part of an agree­ment, Van Breda handed him­self over that same day.

He was ar­rested on three counts of pre­med­i­tated mur­der, one count of at­tempted mur­der and one count of de­feat­ing the ends of justice, for al­legedly tam­per­ing with the mur­der scene.

Be­fore his ar­rest, his le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Pi­eter Botha, said he drew a line in the sand by telling the pros­e­cu­tion they had to make a de­ci­sion be­cause his client couldn’t carry on with this sword hang­ing over his head.

Ac­cord­ing to sources close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the role play­ers around the ta­ble on Mon­day de­cided they had to charge Van Breda “so that it couldn’t be said later that we didn’t do our jobs”.

Rap­port, sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion of City Press, re­ported ear­lier that the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity had sent the docket back to the po­lice at least four times be­cause they didn’t be­lieve they had a strong enough case.

At one point there was even men­tion of an in­quest so that a mag­is­trate could de­ter­mine whether any­one should be pros­e­cuted, sources close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion said. Crim­i­nal ad­vo­cate Wil­liam Booth says in cases like these where there is no di­rect ev­i­dence that Van Breda at­tacked his fa­ther Martin (44), mother Teresa (45), brother Rudi (22) and sis­ter Marli (17) with an axe, the state has its work cut out. “It’s the duty of the pros­e­cu­tion to prove his guilt be­yond a rea­son­able doubt and not Henri’s duty to prove or dis­prove any­thing,” says Booth. Van Breda’s ex­pla­na­tion of an at­tacker who broke into the house only has to be rea­son­ably pos­si­bly true to make the state’s case crum­ble, he says.

Henri van Breda

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