Glenn Agliotti is no longer under house arrest.
Judge Frans Kgomo relaxed the bail conditions of Agliotti in the South Gauteng High Court on Thursday morning, much to the dismay of the prosecution. Agliotti is on trial for the murder of mining magnate Brett Kebble, who was shot in Johannesburg in 2005.
After Agliotti’s defence counsel, Laurance Hodes, on Wednesday asked that Agliotti’s house-arrest condition be removed, the state and defence argued the issue on Thursday morning.
Chief prosecutor Dan Dakana explained that if the house arrest was removed, Agliotti would be at risk of fleeing the country following his denial of a section 204 indemnity in the corruption trial of Jackie Selebi this week.
A 204 witness can be given indemnity from prosecution upon the judge’s discretion, depending on whether or not truthful testimony is given.
“What an opportune time for the accused to bring up his bail conditions when he knows he hasn’t been indemnified in the other trial,” said Dakana.
A furious Hodes said that the prosecution could not speculate on whether or not Agliotti would be charged for corruption following the Selebi trial, and could not use that as a basis for holding him under house arrest.
Later on Thursday morning, Hodes’s cross-examination of the state’s key witness, Clinton Nassif, came to an end.
Hodes told the court that Nassif owed Agliotti in excess of R1-million for shares in Nassif’s company that Agliotti paid for but never received, and for a boat that Agliotti and Nassif bought together, but which Nassif sold and traded in for a Lamborghini without giving Agliotti his share.
Nassif said that this was “possible”, although he thought they had “settled it”.
Hodes then went on to ask Nassif whether Agliotti was involved in the planning of the shooting of former Allan Gray executive Stephen Mildenhall in Cape Town in 2005, and the shooting of Kebble. Hodes put it to Nassif that Agliotti played no part in the planning. Nassif said: “I deny that.”
However, when Hodes asked Nassif if Agliotti had killed Kebble, he said: “He never killed him.”
The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, supported by M&G Media and the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, produced this story.www.amabhungane.co.za.