The murder trial of pensioner Anthony Ball (67) was postponed on Monday after his legal counsel claimed there could be holes in the investigation process, and requested the prosecution to hand over the investigation diary.
Ball, who appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on Monday, is alleged to have killed Dean Charnley in a road rage incident at the Everton Road turn-off from the M13 in Kloof, Durban, last year.
Ball alleges that on the day of the incident he was on his way home and while on the M13, Charnley tailgated him. When they reached Everton Road, Charnley stopped his Nissan in front of Ball’s Subaru and got out.
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According to the charge sheet, Charnley came towards Ball shouting and hit the roof of his car with his hand. Ball alleged that Charnley grabbed him through the window and partially opened the door, grabbing the gun which he still held onto, and that a second, fatal shot went off during the scuffle.
In court on Monday, Ball’s legal counsel wanted a response from the prosecutor on why he opposed their being handed the investigation diary.
He also wanted the state’s assistance to subpoena the investigating officer to come to court, and he also wanted to know how Charnley’s wife, Robyn, had a vital document that was part of the docket. The defence said they believed it is irregular for Charnley’s wife to be in possession of Ball’s statement from the docket.
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The prosecutor said the defence needed to make a proper and formal application to have access to the investigation diary and denied any knowledge of Charnley’s wife being in possession of any important evidence or document.
According to independent legal expert Mpumelelo Zikalala, an investigation diary would have details noted by the investigating officer and records the time at which the information reached the investigating officer, statements from key witnesses, and time when the investigation began and was closed.
Zikalala said the legal counsel had every right to request access to the investigation diary. However, this required a proper formal application not a mere request in court.
Because the diary has all the details of people connected to the case — who was interviewed, what they said and dates — it is a helpful tool for the defence to build its case.
The matter was remanded to September 7, for witnesses to testify and to give the defence an opportunity to make an application for access to the investigation diary.
Ball’s bail was extended.