Go-ahead to receive documents
FRAUD accused Arthur Brown claims Fidentia curators have in their possession “detailed financial records” which he needs to defend himself.
He argued this in the Western Cape High Court yesterday as part of an application to get further documents from the State. While the start of his trial is looming, it has been put on hold pending Brown’s application, as well as certain objections to his indictment.
Brown said although he had received a CD with the docket on it, there was information he had not been given, despite requests for it.
Fidentia was placed under the curatorship of Dines Gihwala and George Papadakis in April 2007.
Brown said there were “detailed financial records in the possession of the curators” to which he did not have access.
Papadakis, for example, had concluded in a forensic report, of which Brown had an unsigned copy, that the then-Fidentia boss had been “running a ponzi scheme”. However, Brown said no source documents to support the finding had been attached to his copy of the report.
He further claimed that the State had taken a “narrow view” towards the structure of Fidentia, which he contended was “very complex”.
“There are four companies involved in this. To lump it into one company and say Brown stole the money simply isn’t supported by facts ... or evidence,” he told the court.
Brown claimed these source documents were relevant to the charges against him and that not having them would prejudice his defence, but prosecutor Jannie van Vuuren, SC, said the State had given him everything he needed to prepare his case. There had been “a lot of stuff” that had come up during investigation that was not relevant to the case.
Van Vuuren also responded to Brown’s claims about the prosecution’s approach to Fidentia, saying the State had not wanted to make the case “more complex than it should be”.
“All the evidence related to the charges has been given to the accused,” he said.
The State, said Van Vuuren, did not want to go beyond 2006 into “what the curators did and didn’t do” because it was irrelevant to its criminal case against Brown, which was focused on the period 2002 to 2006.
Defence attorney June Marks withdrew from the case last week, and Brown is presently unrepresented.
Brown said after the proceedings that Legal Aid SA would decide on Monday whether he would get a legal aid lawyer, but he would “likely be doing it on [his] own”.
Judge Anton Veldhuizen instructed Brown to look through the 36 files of exhibits that form part of the court file and see what he still needed.
The matter resumes today.