De­fence ac­cuses Shrien cop of bias

Ad­vo­cate says of­fi­cer’s Face­book page sug­gested it

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

THE PO­LICE­MAN lead­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mur­der of hon­ey­mooner Anni De­wani de­nied bias against her hus­band Shrien in the Western Cape High Court yes­ter­day.

Ad­vo­cate Fran­cois van Zyl, for De­wani, asked Cap­tain Paul Hen­drikse whether his at­ti­tude to­wards his client and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was im­par­tial. Hen­drikse, the 15th State wit­ness, replied “yes”.

Van Zyl re­ferred to a post on Face­book, with­out a date and time, that sug­gested oth­er­wise.

The post, al­leged to be by the po­lice­man, ap­par­ently in­cluded: “Hu­man rights? Men­tal Health Act? Fair trial? Are th­ese just es­cape routes?”

The post that Van Zyl read out also spoke about how th­ese de­ci­sions fur­ther hurt vic­tims of crime and that the po­lice­man was los­ing faith.

“I would not have made such an en­try. This is the first time I have seen it,” Hen­drikse replied. He said a jour­nal­ist had in­formed him on Mon­day that his Face­book pro­file had been hacked, and he had it de­ac­ti­vated.

Van Zyl said two mem­bers of Anni’s fam­ily, Nishma Hin­docha and Sneha Mashru, were also on his Face­book friends list. He asked whether this in­flu­enced his ob­ser­va­tions. The of­fi­cer replied “not at all”.

De­wani is on trial for al­legedly plot­ting to kill his wife Anni while they were on hon­ey­moon in Cape Town in Novem­ber 2010.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges in­clud­ing kid­nap­ping, mur­der and de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice. He claims the cou­ple were hi­jacked while be­ing driven through Gugulethu in a minibus taxi on Satur­day, Novem­ber 13. De­wani was re­leased un­harmed and Anni was driven away. She was found shot dead in the aban­doned minibus in Khayelit­sha the next morn­ing.

The State al­leges he con­spired with oth­ers to stage the hi­jack­ing, for which he paid R15 000.

De­wani main­tains that he was or­gan­is­ing a sur­prise hel- icopter trip for Anni for R15 000.

Hen­drikse said on Mon­day that he first heard about this trip dur­ing De­wani’s plea ex­pla­na­tion.

Van Zyl asked if he had not watched the Panorama doc­u­men­tary stat­ing that De­wani had planned a sur­prise he­li­copter trip. The of­fi­cer said he had, but he meant that it was the first time he had heard about it from De­wani.

The de­fence crit­i­cised Hen­drikse for not keep­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion di­ary and for fail­ing to timeously follow up on the primer residue re­sults for Anni’s con­victed killer Mzi­wa­madoda Qwabe’s yel­low kitchen glove.

The of­fi­cer ex­plained that he put all his notes and ob­ser- va­tions into state­ments that were avail­able to the de­fence.

He said it was an “over­sight” that they ob­tained the primer residue re­sults only after the de­fence re­quested it from the State.

He also con­ceded that an af­fi­davit cor­rect­ing a mis­take in the orig­i­nal bal­lis­tics state­ment was fal­si­fied, but said he was not re­spon­si­ble for it.

Van Zyl said his client would say Hen­drikse took him to the Hawks of­fice in Bel­lville, Cape Town, in 2010 to take his fin­ger­prints rather than to for­mally in­ter­view him.

How­ever, the finger­print room was locked and they could not get in. Hen­drikse de­nied it. “So it means he was ly­ing about a triv­ial thing like this?” the lawyer asked.

Hen­drikse said that what De­wani was claim­ing never hap­pened. – Sapa

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.