Perly king­pin Blig­nault fires de­fence coun­sel

The Herald (South Africa) - - News - Koen Devon

Con­victed per­lemoen smug­gler and rack­e­teer­ing king­pin Morne Blig­nault, al­ready sen­tenced in Septem­ber to 20 years in jail, fired his de­fence coun­sel on Thurs­day ahead of sen­tenc­ing pro­ceed­ings in a dif­fer­ent case.

Blig­nault, 46, con­firmed he had can­celled his man­date with de­fence at­tor­ney Al­wyn Griebenow and had ap­pointed Hen­nie Bence in his place.

Blig­nault, along with his son Morne Jr, 26, Ja­cob “Japie” Nau­mann, 35, Jan “Danie” Prinsloo, 31, and Paul Bezuiden­hout, 22, ear­lier pleaded guilty to charges of rack­e­teer­ing and con­tra­ven­ing the Marine Liv­ing Re­sources Act.

In to­tal, the men were charged with 16 counts which stem from an il­licit per­lemoen-smug­gling en­ter­prise and an ap­par­ent web of or­gan­ised crime ex­tend­ing across Nel­son Man­dela Bay dur­ing Novem­ber 2016 to Jan­uary 2017.

The case was post­poned to De­cem­ber 14 for sen­tenc­ing pro­ceed­ings. –

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