VBS accused wants separate trial
VBS Mutual Bank heist accused, Limpopo ANC treasurer Danny Msiza, has applied to have his trial held separately to his 13 co-accused, reports News24.
This was revealed in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) yesterday.
Prosecutor Hein van der Merwe told the court that, while the state was ready to proceed with the trial, there were outstanding issues on the part of the legal representatives for the accused.
Van der Merwe told the court that the application, which will be dealt with by way of a motion, would be heard on 4 November.
Msiza’s lawyer told the court that the separation of trial papers had been served on the state, which had since opposed the motion. Meanwhile, other legal representatives of some of the accused have not yet finalised financial instructions with their clients.
The lawyer for former VBS COO Robert Madzonga told the court that they would also be requesting further particulars, but would only do so after hearing the outcome of possible plea negotiations.
Van der Merwe told the court that no plea negotiations were on the table.
The prosecution also placed it on record that a trial date could not be set until these issues had been dealt with.
The accused were charged with theft, fraud, money laundering, corruption, racketeering, and contraventions of provisions in the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.
It is alleged that they looted more than R2bn from the now defunct bank between 2015 and 2018.
In 2020, one of the accused in the matter, former VBS CFO Philip Truter, pleaded guilty in a plea bargain and was sentenced to 10 years behind bars.
The matter was postponed to 24 January.
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.