FSB: Response to ruling against Arthur Brown

29 September 2011 Financial Services Board

The Financial Services Board welcomes the Western Cape High Court ruling against the former Executive Chairman of Fidentia, Mr J Arthur Brown. Mr Brown had approached the court for a permanent stay of prosecution. This means that he asked the court to refuse to have him stand trial on the charges laid against him. The basis advanced by Mr Brown for this request was that, arising from the wrongful conduct of the prosecuting and investigating team and the negative media reports relating to his case, he would not be subjected to a fair trial.

However, Judge Robert Henney turned down his application with costs. The FSB believes that the judgment is correct, and is in the interests of the right of the South African people to see the open trial of persons accused of involvement in serious crimes. The judgment clearly states that Mr Brown did not satisfy the court that the prosecutors and investigators in the case were guilty of misconduct and impartiality.

The court also considered and dismissed Mr Brown’s allegation that his right to a fair trial has been prejudiced by negative media reports. The FSB supports the finding by the Judge that Mr Brown failed to show the link between the adverse media coverage and the effect that such coverage would have on the evidence that would be presented during the trial and how this would result in him not having a fair trial. The FSB also supports the finding that the trial court is the proper forum for a complaint about pre-trial publicity.

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