AC­CUSED OF­FI­CER A WIT­NESS IN PMB’S SONI TRIAL

The Witness - - NEWS - — WR.

COLONEL Clarence Jones, the com­man­der of the KZN Anti­Cor­rup­tion Task Team, fea­tured as a de­fence wit­ness in the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg high court trial of Ra­jivee Soni.

Busi­ness­man Soni had been charged with the mur­der of lo­cal doc­tor Bhav­ish Sewram on May 13, 2013.

Ac­cord­ing to ev­i­dence in that case, Jones was in charge of a “st­ing” op­er­a­tion car­ried out in the wake of a com­plaint by Soni (and his for­mer at­tor­ney, Naren Sang­ham) to po­lice. It led to the ar­rest of a po­ten­tial state wit­ness in Soni’s trial, Moun­tain Rise po­lice­man Dar­ryl Gounder.

As a re­sult of the “st­ing”, Gounder was charged for al­legedly try­ing to ex­tort money from Soni in ex­change for al­ter­ing his ver­sion.

Jones also con­tro­ver­sially fea­tured in the tes­ti­mony of an­other state wit­ness in Soni’s case: Mlungisi Pro­fes­sor Sithebe claimed in court that Jones and a col­league by the name of Maistry had threat­ened him in a bid to per­suade him to “cor­rect” a state­ment he had made.

Jones ve­he­mently de­nied these al­le­ga­tions in his ev­i­dence.

He stressed that he had not known Soni be­fore the lat­ter laid a com­plaint against Gounder.

Jones fur­ther tes­ti­fied that his deal­ings with Sithebe had been “am­i­ca­ble” and de­nied in­tim­i­dat­ing him.

Soni’s mur­der trial is due to re­sume in the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg high court on Fe­bru­ary 26, when clos­ing ar­gu­ments will be pre­sented by the state and de­fence.

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