Don’t bully witness‚ judge tells Van Breda lawyer
Tanya Farber | 2017-05-29 16:46:24.0
The heat was turned up as Henri van Breda’s legal team was unleashed on state witnesses.
Image by: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES
Henri van Breda’s defence counsel‚ Piet Botha‚ was reprimanded in court on Monday for “bullying” a witness in the stand.
The state had called Sergeant Clinton Malan‚ who took Van Breda’s statement on the day of the gruesome murders. Malan testified in the trial-within-a-trial which is looking at whether Van Breda’s statement to the police is admissible as evidence.
Van Breda is in the dock for the murder of his father Martin‚ mother Teresa‚ and brother Rudi‚ and for the attempted murder of his sister Marli van Breda.
Botha has argued that the statement he made to the police on the day his family was axed to death should not be admissible because Van Breda was in an ice-cold room in boxer shorts with an empty stomach and lacking sleep.
But things took a turn in the court in the afternoon when Botha was said to be “bullying” Malan‚ whom Botha claims was part of the process that saw Van Breda questioned in a “cold” room while very “hungry” and “exhausted”.
“You are not allowed to bully the witness‚” said Judge Siraj Desai in a heated exchange with Botha.
Botha retorted: “That is a very serious accusation‚ my lord.”
Desai said it was not an accusation but a perception he had after Botha raised his voice and repeated the same question to Malan.
Andre du Toit‚ Van Breda’s uncle‚ will be the only witness for the defence in the mini-trial and will take the stand on Tuesday.
Van Breda himself will not be called.
The case continues.