National 31.8.2016 08:13 am

R1.5m Saxon hotel bill fraud case continues

From left - Daleyot, Shine, Oppenheimer. Picture: www.idexonline.com

From left - Daleyot, Shine, Oppenheimer. Picture: www.idexonline.com

The ‘small matter’ of a hotel bill uncovered far more intrigue among a group of wealthy diamond dealers.

The case of defeating the ends of justice and corruption against two people accused of trying to intimidate the Saxon Hotel’s general manager, George Cohen, over an outstanding bill of R1.5 million continued in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Wikus Fourie, financial manager at Life Diamond Cutting Works, and Munroe Swiersky, Life Diamond Cutting Works chief financial officer, are accused by Erez Daleyot, a former major shareholder in Life Diamond Cutting Works.

Cohen has claimed he was led to believe by Daleyot that Life Diamond Cutting Works, wherein Daleyot was a major shareholder, was responsible for paying the bill.

In the charge sheet, a formal document presented in court detailing the nature of the accusation against accused persons, Daleyot accuses Fourie (accused 1) and Swiersky (accused 2) of corruption by accepting a benefit through coercing Cohen to fabricate and open a false charge of bilking against him (Daleyot) in order to keep him (Daleyot) in prison indefinitely so that his (Daleyot’s) company (Life Diamond Cutting Works) would collapse and become completely ruined to the benefit of Fourie and Swiersky, “among others”.

The identity of the “others” has not yet been disclosed.

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The alternative charge laid by Daleyot against Fourie and Swiersky is attempting to defeat the administration of justice by attempting to coerce Cohen into fabricating a false charge against him (Daleyot).

Last week Daleyot testified that Life Diamond Cutting Works had been stripped of R500 million in assets when his company had been taken over, in which he testified Fourie and Swiersky had played a part.

Ownership of Life Diamond Cutting Works is currently under dispute in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Johannesburg and is before the court today.

In court yesterday, it was the turn of defence counsel Nardus Grove for the accused, Fourie and Swiersky, to cross-examine Daleyot, chiefly over who was responsible for paying the account, Daleyot or Life Diamond Cutting Works.

Grove produced an email in court wherein Daleyot assumed responsibility for the account.

Daleyot disputed it and said Life Diamond Cutting Works was responsible for payment.

Court was remanded to 29 and 30 September.

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