Ro­hde guilty of killing wife

The Witness - - NEWS -

JA­SON Ro­hde has been found guilty of the mur­der of his wife Su­san by the Western Cape High Court yes­ter­day.

Ro­hde was also found guilty of ob­struct­ing the ends of jus­tice by stag­ing her death as a sui­cide.

Bail has also been with­drawn and Ro­hde will be taken into po­lice cus­tody. “The state has proven its case be­yond rea­son­able doubt,” Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe said.

“This court finds that the ac­cused staged the sui­cide and had the di­rect in­ten­tion to kill.”

Salie-Hlophe care­fully laid out how Ja­son had de­vised a plan to stage the sui­cide af­ter a phys­i­cal al­ter­ca­tion re­sulted in mur­der.

Based on ex­pert ev­i­dence, she found it “highly im­prob­a­ble” that Su­san would have gone to the bath­room to hang her­self. Su­san was found hang­ing from a hook of a ho­tel bath­room door.

Through­out the trial, Ro­hde claimed that Su­san had com­mit­ted sui­cide.

Pros­e­cu­tor Louis van Niek­erk said in his clos­ing ar­gu­ment that the fact that Ro­hde could so eas­ily lie about his ex­tra-mar­i­tal af­fair meant he could do the same in court and lie about how Su­san died.

Dur­ing Ro­hde’s cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, Van Niek­erk ac­cused him of ly­ing. Ro­hde re­sponded: “I’ve ad­mit­ted that I didn’t tell the truth about my adul­tery, but as I’ve also said be­fore, be­ing an adul­terer doesn’t make you a mur­derer, sir.”

On Tues­day, the pros­e­cu­tor was un­con­vinced by Ro­hde’s tes­ti­mony and said Ja­son’s rec­ol­lec­tion of the cou­ple’s last ver­bal ar­gu­ment was a “care­fully crafted chore­og­ra­phy”.

De­fence lawyer ad­vo­cate Gra­ham van der Spuy said that Ro­hde would ei­ther have to be “Su­per­man” or “Han­ni­bal Lecter” to stage his wife’s mur­der.

De­liv­er­ing his clos­ing ar­gu­ment on Wed­nes­day, Van der Spuy said there was an ab­sence of in­crim­i­nat­ing ev­i­dence that was usu­ally found in mur­der cases, with the state con­ced­ing that there was no de­fin­i­tive cause of death. — News24.

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