Charge with­drawn in ‘fake’ rob­bery case

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - NORMA WILDENBOER STAFF RE­PORTER

A CHARGE was yes­ter­day with­drawn against a well-known Kim­ber­ley busi­ness­man who al­legedly “faked” a R10 mil­lion di­a­mond rob­bery at his home.

Mar­cel Karsten, 38, faced a charge of ob­struct­ing the ends of jus­tice af­ter al­legedly fak­ing a rob­bery at his home in Carters Glen and then claim­ing to po­lice that di­a­monds worth R10 mil­lion were stolen dur­ing the in­ci­dent.

He was ar­rested at his home on June 6 this year and re­leased on R10 000 bail shortly there­after.

The State al­leged that Karsten re­ported to the po­lice that a house­break­ing and theft had taken place at his home in Swart­berg Av­enue, Carters Glen, on June 1 2018 and he claimed that prop­erty, in­clud­ing di­a­monds to the value of R10 mil­lion, was stolen dur­ing the in­ci­dent.

Ac­cord­ing to the charge sheet: “Po­lice at­tended to the house­break­ing and theft com­plaint, in­ves­ti­gated the scene and opened a docket, but it later came to light that no house­break­ing or theft took place and that Karsten al­legedly com­mit­ted the of­fence him­self to cover up the theft of di­a­monds stored at his house for safe­keep­ing.”

It is be­lieved that the di­a­monds (ap­par­ently four “ir­re­place­able”, sought-af­ter stones) were given to Karsten for safe­keep­ing by a friend, who also opened theft charges against Karsten but then with­drew them af­ter Karsten ap­par­ently re­turned the di­a­monds to him.

State pros­e­cu­tor Ro­hann Steyn yes­ter­day in­di­cated that the State wanted to pro­vi­sion­ally with­draw the charge, as the Direc­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions (DPP) had not yet re­ceived the docket and in­ves­ti­ga­tions were still out­stand­ing, af­ter Kim­ber­ley Mag­is­trate’s Court se­nior pros­e­cu­tor Te­bogo Namisa re­quested fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter re­ceiv­ing the docket for in­struc­tion af­ter Karsten’s last ap­pear­ance.

Karsten’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Renita du Plooy, said that she had no ob­jec­tion to hav­ing the charge pro­vi­sion­ally with­drawn but re­quested that this be done in terms of sec­tion 342A (3)(c) of the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Act, mean­ing that the State may not pro­ceed with the mat­ter with­out writ­ten in­struc­tion from the DPP.

“The ac­cused’s wife is preg­nant with their sec­ond child and the case has had a neg­a­tive im­pact not only on his fam­ily but also on him fi­nan­cially,” Du Plooy said.

Mag­is­trate Lance Roach told Karsten that while this was “not the end of it”, all ac­cused had the right to a speedy trial and con­ceded that there was now an un­rea­son­able de­lay on the part of the State to com­plete in­ves­ti­ga­tions, adding that Karsten had been ar­rested about six months ago.

Roach with­drew the charge, in terms of sec­tion 342A (3)(c) of the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Act, not­ing that should the State re­in­state charges this could only be done with the writ­ten in­struc­tion of the DPP in the North­ern Cape.

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