Publication: The Natal Witness Issued: Date: 2005-04-23 Reporter: Nivashni Nair Reporter:

Schabir Shaik to Know His Fate in Coming Month



The Natal Witness




Nivashni Nair

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Schabir Shaik's thousand-mile journey, as Judge Hillary Squires described the fraud and corruption trial when it began almost six months ago, is quickly drawing to an end.

During the next two weeks, legal teams will present their closing arguments before Squires hands down his judgment towards the end of May.

State advocate Billy Downer SC will on Monday begin his closing argument, and he is confident that it will take him "more or less a week" to complete.

"The judge has indicated that he wants closing arguments to be dealt with in two weeks. Therefore I will take about a week to finish," he told Weekend Witness on Friday.

When asked if he will be using an overhead visual presentation, as previously used for his opening argument, Downer laughed and replied: "Of course, how can I not?"

Shaik's attorney, Reeves Parsee, told Weekend Witness that the defence also expects to take a week to present its closing argument.

He explained that the defence did not object when brought an application to televise the judgment, therefore Squires gave permission for the free broadcaster to televise the judgment only.

However, Shaik on Friday told Weekend Witness that he is pushing for his legal representation to apply for the closing arguments to be televised as well.

"In the past week I have instructed my attorney to try to get the arguments televised because I want the public to hear two sides so it is a transparent process," he said.

With acknowledgements to Nivashni Nair and The Natal Witness.