Cape Town - After a month-long recess, the trial of the man accused of the murder of horse rider Meghan Cremer resumed in the Western Cape High Court.
Jeremy Sias, 29, has been charged with four counts of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, theft and defeating the administration of justice for his alleged involvement in Cremer’s murder and attempts at discarding the evidence.
On Tuesday Sias, through his lawyer, advocate Mohamed Sibda, disputed notes made by police officer Winston Pickard in which the State claims Sias made a supposed confession when he pointed out Cremer’s body.
These notes are the subject of a trial-within-a-trial, as Sias claims he was assaulted and forced to give an incriminating statement.
During questioning by State advocate Emily van Wyk, Pickard said Sias had been informed of his right to remain silent but opted to point out the body.
“He took us directly to where the body was,” Pickard said in court.
During cross-examination, Sibda put it to Pickard that Sias was forced to point out Cremer’s remains.
“My interpretation was that he was assaulted, but he never made it clear to me that he was assaulted for the purpose of doing the pointing out or the interview. I explained to him that he had the right to open a case against the police officer who assaulted him,” Pickard said.
Sibda then revealed that Sias was promised by police officials a lesser sentence, no jail time, and was told he would be able to see his children again if he agreed to point out Cremer’s remains, to which Pickard agreed.
When Judge Elizabeth Baartman asked Pickard if he understood there were promises made to Sias compelling him to point out Cremer’s body, he said “yes”.
“He said that he is going to get a lesser sentence and he won’t land in jail, and he would see his children again,” Pickard said.
Sibda said he would argue at the end of the trial-within-a-trail that his client had been forced to give a statement that he killed Cremer, and whatever references he made to police regarding such a confession was untrue and was improperly obtained.
The matter is due to proceed today.