[please feel free to insert Guyana in place of South frica and the local players to replace the South African ones]
Jackie Selebi, the former police commissioner of South Africa and once a signal figure in international law enforcement, was found guilty of corruption in South Africa on Friday.
The verdict ended a grueling trial that began last October.
James Singh has provided countless favors to drug cartels and friends including Roger Khan, Paul Daby Etc The Commissioner of Police Henry Greene has profited on many occasions here in Guyana from the drug business leading to his US visa being revoked.
Jackie Selebi received about $160,000 in an array of designer clothing — Canali ties, Hugo Boss knitwear, Louis Vuitton shoes and an Etienne Aigner jacket. The two men shopped together at high-fashion boutiques, though only one paid the bills and that was Glenn Agliotti.
For South Africa, in the midst of hearty self-congratulations for its able hosting of the World Cup, the verdict was a reminder of two problems that more often occupy the headlines: crime and public corruption.
Mr. Selebi, 60, accepted the judgment with slumped shoulders, his elbows resting on his thighs. It had taken a day and a half for Judge Meyer Joffe to read the lengthy decision, parsing each element of testimony and concluding that the man who headed the police force from 2000 to 2008 was
someone of “low moral fiber” which Guyana is full of. The judge also said Shelby showed “complete contempt for the truth.” something we in Guyana are familiar with under the rule of PPP Crime Family & Friends Inc.
The next hearing in the case was scheduled for July 14, when sentencing will be considered. Mr. Selebi, who is also a former president of the international crime group Interpol, was found not guilty on a related charge of defeating the ends of justice.
As he left the courthouse, Mr. Selebi was surrounded by family, friends and police officers who ushered him past a crowd and through the building’s front gates. “I don’t wish to say anything,” he told reporters.
A feisty man with a sharp tongue, Mr. Selebi is usually much less reluctant to offer comment. During the trial, he derided the prosecution, claiming the case against him was cooked up by enemies who wanted to punish him for criticizing the Scorpions, an elite and now-defunct crime-fighting team and not a Phantom squad, as was the case here in Guyana where many are muted about.
The government’s main witness was Glenn Agliotti, a confessed drug kingpin just like Roger Khan. In exchange for his generosity, Mr. Selebi tipped him off about investigations and attended meetings with the smuggler’s business associates. [sounds like james singh and cousin raymond no?]
Mr. Agliotti’s testimony was problematic, however. He admitted to being a habitual liar, and it sometimes seemed this confession was the only credible statement he made. In his final judgment, Judge Joffe called Mr. Agliotti “one of the most untruthful and unreliable witnesses to testify in this court.”
But some of Mr. Agliotti’s testimony was confirmed by others. His former companion, Dianne Muller, said she had seen Mr. Selebi accept a bag of cash (similar to what the head of CANU collected on the East Coast of Demerara.) She said she had overheard a conversation on Mr. Agliotti’s car phone in which the police chief requested about $1,300 for his son’s birthday party. shades of assistant commissioner steve merai heard on tape demanding money for his cocaine friends.
Testifying in his own defense, Mr. Selebi said his friendship with Mr. Agliotti was actually police work: “He was a friend for a particular purpose, whatever information I could siphon from him for the greater good.” [hello former minister off home afairs ronald gajraj! sounds like selebi stole your defence.]
But Mr. Selebi proved a miserable witness, and the judge concluded that he, too, was a relentless prevaricator.
At one point, he promised to bring in receipts for his purchases but then told the court that his wife had shredded the evidence the day before. At another time, he brought to court a so-called original copy of an intelligence report, but the document used the wrong typeface and appeared to be homemade. [ashni singh, take your head out of the cat litter box.]
“Every day, society in general and the courts in particular rely on the honesty,
integrity and truthfulness of policemen and women,” Judge Joffe said, adding that Mr. Selebi had “not set an example that should be emulated.” [henry greene care to offer any comments sir?]
The decline and fall of Jackie Selebi contains tragic elements — a man who resisted racial injustice only to succumb to personal greed. He emerged from the anti-apartheid freedom struggle as a leader of the African National Congress, the party that has governed South Africa during the nation’s 16 years of multiracial democracy. Mr. Selebi became a member of Parliament and later an envoy to the United Nations in Geneva.
Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s president from 1999 to 2008, appointed Mr. Selebi police chief even though he had no prior experience in law enforcement. In 2007, the president suspended the chief prosecutor who was trying to bring Mr. Selebi to trial, before ordering Mr. Selebi to take a leave of his own.
Mr. Mbeki’s name came up during the proceedings, if only peripherally. Mr. Agliotti said that during one of their shopping jaunts, Mr. Selebi asked him to buy a pair of expensive shoes for the president.
“He needed to buy a size 7 because the president had small and broad feet,” Mr. Agliotti testified.
We are still waiting here in Guyana for a major drug Dealer or a corrupted public figure to be prosecuted and there is many.