Axe­mur­der ac­cused queries ad­mis­si­bil­ity of state­ment to po­lice

The Witness - - NEWS -

CAPE TOWN — Henri van Breda did not ask for le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion be­fore sign­ing the state­ment of his ver­sion of how his par­ents and brother were mur­dered, the of­fi­cer who took it down told the West­ern Cape High Court yes­ter­day.

Sergeant Clin­ton Malan de­nied Van Breda’s claim that he re­sponded to this re­quest for le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion with: “Why? Are you guilty?”

Pi­eter Botha, for Van Breda, was ques­tion­ing Malan about the ac­cu­racy of the state­ment, which had not yet been ad­mit­ted into ev­i­dence. Malan main­tained he was ob­jec­tive and used the in­for­ma­tion Van Breda gave him to com­pile the state­ment.

The 22­year­old is on trial on charges of mur­der­ing his par­ents and brother Rudi with an axe and at­tempt­ing to mur­der his younger sis­ter Marli, and de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice.

He has pleaded not guilty, claim­ing a bala­clava­clad man at­tacked the fam­ily in their home in the De Zalze Es­tate, Stel­len­bosch, in the early hours of Jan­uary 27, 2015, be­fore es­cap­ing.

A trial­within­a­trial was un­fold­ing over the ad­mis­si­bil­ity of the first state­ ment Van Breda gave po­lice on the day of the triple mur­ders. Botha ar­gued that po­lice had al­ready seen his client as a sus­pect and that he was en­ti­tled to be warned that he did not have to make a state­ment, had the right to con­sult a lawyer, and to re­main si­lent.

Malan said Van Breda was not in­formed of his rights as he was be­ing ques­tioned as a wit­ness, not as a sus­ pect. Botha said po­lice asked for blood to be drawn from Van Breda at a pri­vate hos­pi­tal later that night to test for al­co­hol and drugs. Malan con­ceded it was strange to draw blood from a wit­ness.

Botha asked him why only one in­truder was men­tioned in the state­ment, and Malan said the in­for­ma­tion Van Breda sup­plied was put in the state­ment. The trial con­tin­ues. — News24.

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