Seen here is some of the accused in what has been labelled SA's biggest diamond case. Picture: Soraya Crowie
Kimberley - In a dramatic twist during proceedings in one of South Africa’s biggest diamond trials, the defence argued that the State’s case had collapsed. The visual and sound recordings that were supposed to link 13 prominent personalities in the diamond industry to illicit diamond deals are blank.
Senior advocate Max Hades, who is representing Monojkumar Dayabhai Detroja and Willem Weenink on Monday described the investigation as being a “miserable failure”.
Hades, in the Northern Cape High Court, on Monday highlighted how members of the investigation team involved in Project Darling, the undercover operation that resulted in the arrests of the accused, deliberately failed to check the video footage and sound recordings, as it did not support the State’s case.
“The recording machine and video clippings pertaining to some of the charges are completely blank. The whole case has failed. They must have looked at the recordings and discovered that it could not prove anything.”
He accused the manager of Project Darling, Colonel De Witt Botha, from the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) in Upington, of being “scared of destroying the whole operation” because the recordings were not checked.
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