Top sleuth slams ac­cusers over trial de­lay

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - JAMES MAHLOKWANE

CON­TRO­VER­SIAL foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tor Paul O’Sul­li­van called those he sus­pected of fab­ri­cat­ing charges against him “crim­i­nals with badges and clowns with gowns”, run­ning the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem af­ter his case was post­poned again for in­com­plete in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Yes­ter­day, O’Sul­li­van and his le­gal ad­viser Sarah-Jane Trent ap­peared at the Pre­to­ria Mag­is­trate’s Court to face charges of fraud, in­tim­i­da­tion and extortion.

They were joined by Ipid (In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Direc­torate) of­fi­cials Mand­lakayise Mahlangu and Te­mane Bi­nang, who are ac­cused of al­leged in­volve­ment in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into sus­pended Act­ing Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Kho­motso Phahlane.

Trent, who is out on R5 000 bail, is also ac­cused of pos­ing as an Ipid of­fi­cial dur­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Phahlane.

Trent said the charges against her were “trumped-up” and de­scribed her ar­rest as trau­matic as she was driven around in the back of a po­lice van for hours; her cell­phone was taken and in­for­ma­tion was down­loaded il­le­gally be­fore she was taken to Kameeldrift Po­lice Sta­tion.

O’Sul­li­van was later ar­rested on the same charges as Trent de­spite an ear­lier court or­der that he had to be given 48 hours no­tice to hand him­self to the po­lice should there be a war­rant for his ar­rest.

Af­ter the State re­quested the court to post­pone the ap­pear­ance un­til Novem­ber 8, Nico Botha, rep­re­sent­ing Mahlangu and Bi­nang, ad­vised the mag­is­trate to al­low the post­pone­ment given that the State would not re­quest fur­ther post­pone­ments as the case against his clients had been go­ing on for months since their first court ap­pear­ance on May 30.

Botha said since the State had been “drag­ging its feet” to com­plete in­ves­ti­ga­tions, which in­clude down­load­ing data from O’Sul­li­van’s cell­phone, the court should strike the case off the roll if not ready to start trial by Novem­ber.

O’Sul­li­van, who ex­ited the court in a rush, said there was no in­ves­ti­ga­tion and there had been none. “In De­cem­ber we will have a new pres­i­dent and I hope the first step he will take is to re­or­gan­ise the po­lice and the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem.”

He said if the State did not com­plete what it needed to do to com­mence with trial by Novem­ber 8, le­gal steps would be taken to have the mat­ter with­drawn from the roll.

O’Sul­li­van said he thought that by the time the State was ready to put him on trial, Phahlane would be in jail. O’Sul­li­van be­lieves Phahlane was be­hind his ar­rest.

The con­cerned pub­lic will now wait for the next ap­pear­ance to see if the State had com­pleted its in­ves­ti­ga­tion or risk see­ing the case struck off the roll.

Paul O’Sul­li­van yes­ter­day dis­par­aged his ac­cusers af­ter his case was post­poned over in­com­plete in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

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