Clash with judge


THE de­fence ad­vo­cate for con­victed mur­derer Ja­son Ro­hde yes­ter­day clashed with the judge after she ruled that the tes­ti­mony of a psy­chi­a­trist who had been see­ing Ro­hde was not rel­e­vant to sen­tenc­ing pro­ceed­ings.

Ro­hde was con­victed by Western Cape High Court Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe on Novem­ber 8 of the 2016 mur­der of his wife Su­san Ro­hde and de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice by stag­ing her sui­cide.

Psy­chi­a­trist Dr Kevin Stoloff, who has been see­ing Ro­hde dur­ing the trial, yes­ter­day gave tes­ti­mony in mit­i­ga­tion of sen­tence.

Stoloff gave de­tailed ev­i­dence on the re­port he com­piled on Ro­hde’s med­i­cal state and his fail­ure to ap­pear in court in Fe­bru­ary.

Judge Salie-Hlophe, how­ever, in­ter­rupted his tes­ti­mony and pointed out that the pur­pose of his tes­ti­mony was for sen­tence mit­i­ga­tion and not a bail ap­pli­ca­tion as the court has al­ready found Ro­hde guilty. She added that the tes­ti­mony be­ing pre­sented by Stoloff was al­ready part of the court record.

The re­jec­tion of Dr Stoloff’s tes­ti­mony led to a clash be­tween the judge and de­fence ad­vo­cate Gra­ham van der Spuy, who raised his voice to ar­gue that his wit­ness had been dis­rupted by the court. Ro­hde has been in Pollsmoor prison since his con­vic­tion. | African News Agency (ANA)

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