Teek’s Case ‘A Tragedy of Errors’

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek More damning evidence of poor police investigations continued to unfold in the High Court yesterday in the case of former Judge Pio Teek. The investigation, according to the evidence, was so poorly done that critical information was left out, evidence tempered with, police officials were negligent and even fabricated statements to incriminate Teek. The head of investigations in the Teek case, Deputy Commissioner Marius Visser yesterday in Court B agreed that the investigations were poorly done and Judge Ronnie Bosielo said he was shocked by the new discoveries in court. Visser, who has 37 years experience as a police officer could not explain why a videotape that was taken at Teek’s residence during a search was not presented as evidence to the court. He could only tell the court that it was the decision of the former acting Prosecutor General Danie Small to leave out the crucial evidence. Under heavy cross-examination from Teek’s legal representative Richard Metcalfe, Visser admitted that the evidence on the videotape was in favour of the retired judge and it should have been part of the docket. The head of criminal investigations in the Khomas Region could also not explain to the court why the police did not check for any substance under the nails or on the fingers of Teek if the two girls alleged that Teek inserted his finger into their private parts. Metcalfe claimed that if a DNA test were done or any substance found on Teek, it would have made the entire case easier. Visser, who had a tough day in court could also not explain why the police did not even take clothes of the two girls to detect whether there was any alcohol on their clothes since it was alleged that Teek forced them to take beer. “Surely if Teek forced these girls to drink beer, some of the beer could have spilled onto the clothes, but no test was done.” Even more shocking, it emerged yesterday in court that no fingerprint tests were done on the beer bottles that were allegedly given to the two girls. In fact, Metcalfe told the court that doctor Paul Ludik from the National Forensic Laboratory who was supposed to conduct the tests did not have the equipment to carry out such tests and only pretended he had the equipment to do the job. Metcalf also wanted to know from Visser whether he would further investigate and possibly lay charges against his colleague Inspector Johanna Haraes after it emerged that she fabricated a statement, which incriminated Teek. After highlighting the number of shortcomings in the investigations including the fact that the parents of the victims never gave consent for their children to be examined, Metcalfe described the process as a “tragedy of errors” and said the police had taken a “shotgun approach”. The South African judge was also shocked by the poor investigation work that was done by highly experienced detectives. Bosielo wanted to know why Visser never made the effort to read the statements given by the alleged victims as it formed the basis of the case. “I would logically think that given the high profile of this case and the sensitivity of the case, you should have read this too crucial statement. How did you miss or fail to read this?” Bosielo continued that if Visser did not read the statements as he noted, he was in no position to authorise such a wide search warrant. Doctor Jacqueline Behr from the Katutura State Hospital was the second witness to take the stand. Behr told the court that she did not perform the test but a former colleague of hers from Cuba had done so. She, according to the reports, found that on the one girl there was no medical evidence of penetration while on the other there was a minor scratch. The doctor noted that it was possible that the scratch could have been caused by a finger but was quick to point out that it could have been anything else. She said since the scratch was on a young girl, it could have been caused by the girl while playing or experimenting with herself. The doctor also remarked that the report was poorly done by her colleague and could not give adequate information to the court. She said her colleague, who was from Cuba, had a poor command of the English language and her general work was substandard – that is why she had to leave for Cuba before her contract expired.