Angelo Agrizzi in urgent high court bid for bail release
Pretoria - After spending a night under lock and key in jail - former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi has made an urgent bid in the South Gauteng High Court in Joburg on Thursday, to overturn the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court’s decision to deny him bail.
Agrizzi appeared in court on Wednesday and was seen carrying a small oxygen device. He had not been able to attend court a few weeks ago when his co-accused, former ANC parlimentarian Vincent Smith, appeared in court.
Agrizzi’s lawyer, Daniel Witz, confirmed that his client has granted him power of attorney to serve papers to the Investigating Directorate, the National Prosecuting Authority and Magistrate Phillip Venter, who denied him bail on Wednesday.
“We served papers to all of them today. We also notified the High Court. We are just waiting for the court’s record to be typed.
“Afterwards, we will file papers and we expect the matter to be heard soon in the High Court,” Witz said.
Agrizzi signed the power of attorney while in jail.
The application to be released on bail follows Venter’s decision to deny him bail after the court ruled that Agrizzi was a severe flight risk after the State argued in court that he had failed to disclose that he had moved millions to offshore bank accounts in Italy and had already purchased a luxurious car and property.
The State alleged that he was preparing to flee the country.
Citing the country’s porous borders and the fact that he could escape the country, for a lengthy and costly extradition battle to ensue, Venter denied him bail.
In a separate matter in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, Agrizzi was charged with fraud and corruption with four others including former National Commissioner of Correctional Services Linda Mti on February 6, 2019.
At the time of his bail application in Pretoria, Agrizzi told the court that he owned a property worth R13.5m in Johannesburg and did not disclose that he had funds and properties beyond the borders of South Africa.
At the time, his South African passport was handed over to the State and he was not deemed a flight risk and investigators did not subsequently oppose bail.
Agrizzi also told the court that he owned movable assets worth R2.65m. He was granted bail of R20 000 at the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court and handed over his South African passport.
The court also heard on Wednesday that Agrizzi had apparently lost his Italian passport.
But the tables turned against him on Wednesday in the Palm Ridge Commercial Crimes Court, when the court ruled that his failure to disclose his offshore investments, despite having several opportunities to do so, made him a severe flight risk.
He also had a sizable investment in crytocurrency accounts, the court heard.