Fidentia trial delayed by a day

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Former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown

Cape Town -

The embezzlement trial of former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown was postponed for a day in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

Prosecutor Jannie van Vuuren told the court Brown had made “substantial admissions” to shorten proceedings, but that a few things needed to be clarified.

“I've had a discussion with the accused this morning. There are one or two aspects that need to be corrected... I need to sit with the accused and be more precise,” he said.

A signed copy of the original admissions document was handed up to Judge Anton Veldhuizen.

Van Vuuren said he would hand in an addendum to the statement after meeting with Brown.

“It seems we're getting somewhere with formal evidence,” the judge responded.

“I accept that what you intend doing will save lots of time at the end of the day. Once this is done, we must get the show on the road and not waste more time after that.”

Brown has pleaded not guilty to four counts of fraud, two counts of corruption, one count of money-laundering, and two counts of theft.

He was arrested in 2007 in one of the biggest financial scandals South Africa has seen.

The State alleges Brown ran a pyramid scheme and used investors' funds for his personal gain, including the acquisition of luxury cars and beach houses.

The case had been dogged with many delays and changes in Brown's legal representation.

He was representing himself pending an application for Legal Aid.

Brown told the court he was assigned a lawyer, who then asked for a five-month postponement to prepare for the case. He declined the counsel on the basis it would waste time, requesting that his former lawyer Braganza Pretorius be brought back on board.

Brown, who was out on bail, would return to court on Tuesday. - Sapa


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