Judge de­nies state on He­witt case

The Witness - Wheels - - NEWS -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — The state was yes­ter­day de­nied per­mis­sion to re­open its case against for­mer Grand Slam ten­nis cham­pion and rape ac­cused Bob He­witt.

Pros­e­cu­tor Ca­rina Coet­zee had asked that Judge Bert Bam re­open the case so she could call an­other wit­ness to ver­ify the tes­ti­mony of Theresa “Twiggy” Tolken.

“I am not per­suaded by the state to re­open this case,” Bam ruled.

The Aus­tralian- born He­witt ( 75) is on trial for the al­leged rape of two of his for­mer stu­dents, Tolken and Suellen Shee­han in the 1980s, and the sex­ual as­sault of a third woman, who may not be named, in the 1990s. He gave ten­nis lessons to the girls. He has pleaded not guilty.

Terry Price, for He­witt, ob­jected to the state re­open­ing its case, claim­ing it had caused emo­tional and fi­nan­cial strain on the He­witts.

“The state has had four years to trace [ her],” said Price, adding that the case was not com­ing to an end.

Coet­zee said they had tried sev­eral av­enues to track down the wit­ness, now living in Amer­ica. She claimed the wit­ness was avail­able to­day and could be cross- ex­am­ined via Skype.

Judge Bam ex­pects the state to hand in its heads of ar­gu­ment on March 2 and the de­fence on March 5. Closing ar­gu­ments would be heard on March 23.

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