After almost two years in prison Gary Porritt, former CEO of JSE-listed financial services group Tigon, has petitioned the SCA in an effort to regain his freedom, says a Moneyweb report.

Porritt and his former co-director Sue Bennett are on trial for fraud, racketeering and contravention of the Income Tax and several other acts. The charges relate to the collapse of Tigon around 2002.

Judge Brian Spilg, of the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg), ruled in 2017 that Porritt deliberately planned to avoid court on several dates when he allegedly fainted and was subsequently admitted to hospital.

Porritt forfeited his bail of R100 000 and has been held in the Johannesburg Central Prison ever since. A full Bench of the High Court overruled Spilg’s decision and found that Porritt’s absence following his first admission to another hospital on 12 June 2017, and his absence in the following days, was reasonable.

However, it dismissed the appeal with regard to Porritt’s absence on 19 June, when he was in a psychiatric hospital. Spilg found that Porritt deliberately engineered this admission to find an excuse not to be in court and the full Bench agreed. Porritt questions the full Bench’s logic in his affidavit to the SCA.

He argues that if hospitalisation was a good enough excuse for his absence on 12, 13 and 14 June, it should have been accepted for 19 June as well.

He says the full Bench in effect found that he was malingering on 19 June and denies that. Porritt also denies that he followed a strategy to get the medical practitioners to assist him in delaying the trial. The state is opposing Porritt’s application.

Full Moneyweb report