Johannesburg – Former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi’s lawyer, Danie Witz SC, said the court and the State prosecutors were aware of his client’s medical condition on the day of his bail hearing and prior to proceedings.
“It wasn’t an overnight illness and they really should have taken consideration because there were other means available. If they were very worried about him allegedly attempting to evade justice, then they could have placed him under house arrest.
’’You don’t have to put another person in our already overcrowded prisons,” said Witz.
He further claimed the State had no reason to deny his client bail.
Witz filed a bail appeal application with the South Gauteng High Court on Thursday in a bid to overturn the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court’s decision to deny Agrizzi bail in his corruption and bribery case.
Witz told Independent Media although they had filed their papers with the high court, they were still waiting on the Palm Ridge Crimes Court to provide the charge sheet so they could file with the South Gauteng High Court, in order for Agrizzi to get a date for the bail appeal hearing.
He argued that Agrizzi’s health had taken a battering from court cases and the State Capture commission, as he had taken on a lot of emotional and physical stress.
“Any person in his position who takes massive stress emotionally and physically, and after helping for approximately 18 months, to have the State turn around and say ‘thank you, we’ve finished with you off you go to prison’, is a shock to the system,” Witz said.
He said that Agrizzi had not been treated fairly despite being a crucial witness for many of the State’s cases which were still to be tried and prosecuted.
“He’s been out on bail since February 2019 in the other matter (fraud and corruption charges). To surprise him and his legal representatives in court and deny him bail, when no indication that they were going to deny or oppose bail was given beforehand and up until court actually started, is a massive surprise and the question of ethics comes into play,” said Witz.
Magistrate Philip Venter deemed Agrizzi a flight risk after the State argued that he had not disclosed that he had moved millions of rand into offshore bank accounts in Italy, and bought property and a car there.
On Thursday, Agrizzi was hospitalised after spending Wednesday night behind bars as his health reportedly deteriorated overnight.
However, Witz said yesterday his client was in a stable condition in hospital although he was currently being monitored.
“The staff at the hospital are doing a great job. He is Covid-19-negative as I know there’s news reports coming out that he has tested positive. He’s not.
’’He’s Covid-negative and they are just working on some further blood work and they’re just going to continue monitoring him,” Witz said.