S Africa`s ex-Interpol chief convicted of corruption

S Africa`s former police chief and ex-Prez of Interpol Jackie Selebi was convicted of corruption.

Johannesburg: South Africa`s former police chief and ex-president of Interpol Jackie Selebi was convicted Friday of corruption for accepting bribes from a convicted drug dealer.

"Having due regard to the poor quality of the accused`s evidence, the accused`s denial of receipt of the payment is not reasonably possibly true," Judge Meyer Joffe said in a verdict.

"The accused is found guilty of corruption," he said, adding that Selebi was found not guilty on separate counts of defeating the ends of justice.

Selebi was accused of taking bribes totalling more than 1.2 million rand (166,000 dollars, 122,000 euros) between 2000 and 2005, including payments and gifts from Glenn Agliotti, a convicted drug dealer.

The trial produced startling evidence that Agliotti indulged Selebi`s fondness for designer clothing, which the police chief rewarded by feeding Agliotti police information.

"He enjoyed shopping, and so did I," Agliotti said during the trial which began in October.

"When I traveled to London, I bought him shoes at Harrods. I also bought him a pair of Louis Vuitton shoes in Hong Kong."

The judge was scathing in his ruling against the former head of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

"There is a stigma in society about labelling a witness a liar... But that is what the accused did," Joffe said. "It is a finding that as head of the SAPS... he had a low moral fibre and cannot be relied upon."

Sentencing was set for July 14, and in the mean time Selebi will remain free on bail.

Bureau Report

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