State security concerns delay police chief’s trial


The corruption trial of former police commissioner Jackie Selebi (pictured) has been delayed until next Tuesday to allow State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele ‘s advocate to receive further instructions.

The South Gauteng High Court ruled yesterday that former intelligence co-ordinator Barry Gilder should testify. It dismissed an application by Cwele that Gilder should not be compelled to testify because the information concerned was privileged and classified, Business Day newspaper reports.

Judge Meyer Joffe ruled that the prosecution might ask the questions it intended to ask, but said in order to protect the concerns of Cwele about intelligence methods and intelligence sources being divulged, Gilder’s testimony would be held in camera.

Gilder did not testify because Cwele’s advocate, Marumo Moerane SC, then asked to be given a chance to obtain further instructions from Cwele, the paper reports.

State witness Glenn Agliotti testified that Selebi showed him a draft 2005 National Intelligence Estimate report, which contained an allegation from businessman Jurgen Kogl that Selebi received payments from slain mining boss Brett Kebble. Agliotti said he went to find out about who Kogl was and reported back to Selebi.

The Mail & Guardian notes the information was excluded from the final document.

State Advocate Gerrie Nel said that in leading Gilder’s evidence, the prosecution would not disclose any intelligence methods and would not reveal any intelligence sources. “We only want testimony on the existence of the draft.”

Nel said its existence was disclosed to former national director of public prosecutions Vusi Pikoli and was at least four years old.

In reply, Moerane said the Intelligence Services Act stated that a former member of the intelligence service may not disclose in any form or manner any information or any material unless the director-general concerned had granted permission.

In his ruling, Joffe said the proposed questions would not disclose intelligence-gathering methods that would undermine national security. He said if any questions were asked during cross-examination that compromised state security, Moerane could object or the judge could stop that question from being asked.

The Star notes Gilder was co-ordinator for intelligence from 2005 to 2007.

It adds the stand-off over Gilder’s evidence could also provoke tensions between Selebi’s prosecutors and the intelligence authorities who they have suggested were involved in obtaining damaging DVD recordings of Agliotti.

The recordings captured Agliotti slamming the now-defunct Scorpions as driving a political plot against Selebi.