Private forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan and his assistant, attorney Sarah-Jane Trent, intend to lay charges of abduction, defeating the ends of justice and racketeering against policemen involved in their arrest.
Trent, who is accused of impersonating an official of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), appeared briefly in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court today.
The case against her was postponed to May 19 for further investigation. Her bail of R5 000 was extended, but a bail condition was added to prevent her from revealing any of the names on the list of state witnesses against her.
Trent was arrested on Friday afternoon last week and only released on Sunday night after she launched an urgent court application to secure her release.
O’Sullivan was arrested on Monday afternoon while leaving the Pretoria offices of his attorney, Willie Spies. He was released shortly before midnight after he brought an urgent application, saying the arresting officers were in contempt of a court order.
The court yesterday warned the police to adhere to a court order stating that O’Sullivan must be given 48 hours’ notice before he can be arrested. O’Sullivan told reporters he was certain he would be arrested on a regular basis by “these police thugs”, but it would not deter him in his fight against corruption.
He said he was convinced that acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane was behind his and Trent’s arrests, although he used North West police to “do his dirty work”.
He described their arrests as nothing else but an intimidation tactic to stop an Ipid investigation against Phahlane for alleged corruption.
Trent and O’Sullivan were working with Ipid on the investigation into Phahlane. The acting police commissioner has filed an application in the high court for an interdict against Ipid executive director Robert McBride, O’Sullivan, Trent and Magistrate JR Tsetsi to ensure that the investigation against him is lawfully conducted.
Phahlane also wants a search warrant for his house, which was issued by Tsetsi, set aside and will seek an interdict to stop O’Sullivan from harassing, intimidating or abusing him verbally or by email.
O’Sullivan and Trent described their arrests as nothing but abduction and said they intended to lay criminal charges against those involved before the end of the week.