Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Shaik hires big guns
Schabir Shaik has hired Durban’s most experienced, and possibly also the most expensive, criminal defence lawyer in a bid to avoid going back to prison.
15 March 2011 | PAUL KIRK
DURBAN - Schabir Shaik has hired Durban’s most experienced, and possibly also the most expensive, criminal defence lawyer in a bid to avoid going back to prison.
Carol van der Merwe, who first worked as a police officer before becoming a prosecutor – and who then went into practice as a defence lawyer – has vast experience in criminal prosecutions, unlike Shaik’s previous lawyers, who have always been experts in commercial law.
Van der Merwe is most famous for persuading the police in Durban to sign a written agreement not to raid illegal casinos without first giving them warning.
Details of Van der Merwe’s extraordinary casino agreement with the police came out in 2002 when he was forced by the Durban Regional Court to give details of the secret deal he had set up.
Reeves Parsee, a Durban attorney who has represented Shaik before, said he and Van der Merwe would both be representing Shaik – who he said was being kept in Westville Prison’s hospital section and was confused and upset.
Parsee said that he was concerned that Shaik had been arrested without any hearing and only on the strength of reports in the media that he had allegedly been involved in two recent assaults.
Parsee said he and Van der Merwe found it alarming that witnesses to the incident outside a Mosque on Friday in which Shaik is alleged to have assaulted another man, claimed that, contrary to what was reported by the Sunday Times, Shaik was not the aggressor.
Parsee said he was also concerned that he had not been given time to consult his client or study the reasons for his client’s arrest – which was made without any official documentation.
However, while Shaik has brought out big legal guns for his case, a prominent Johannesburg attorney, Michael Trapido, believes it is “inconceivable” that Shaik will be thrown back behind bars.
Trapido said that Shaik’s release on medical parole was final, and could only be reviewed by a Parole Review Board headed by a judge and including the Director of Public Prosecutions and a senior member of the Department of Correctional Services.
If Shaik has been found to be ‘in the final phase of a terminal disease or condition’, ludicrous as this may seem, then any revocation of his medical parole must be dealt with in accordance with medical submissions in order to finalise that aspect first before deciding on other parole infractions.
The alternative is the ridiculous situation whereby Correctional Services submit that he is about to die but shouldn’t be purportedly strangling people at golf courses or attacking worshippers in the parking lot at a mosque.”
Trapido said that in order to restore their credibility Correctional Services would have to treat the Shaik case strictly by the letter of the law.
Shaik was arrested on Monday and taken to the Westville Prison.
At the weekend, the Sunday Times reported that Shaik hit a man, Mohamed Ismail, outside a mosque in Durban.
He had apparently parked the man in, who was trying to get to his daughter in a local hospital.
Shaik reportedly punched the man during an altercation.
The police are already investigating Shaik for allegedly choking and slapping a Sunday Tribune reporter on a golf course about two weeks ago.
Comments by Sonny
ANC abuse of the SA Constitution!!
Who is protected with this maniac on the loose?
Only the cronies seen as his friends who are still enjoying their corrupt relationship with the Shaik empire!!!
Soon it will only be the GUPTA empire!