Forensic consultant Paul O’Sullivan’s fraud case was remanded in the Randburg Magistrates’ Court yesterday for him to possibly make submissions as to why he should not be prosecuted, or failing that, a possible trial date.
O’Sullivan and Melissa Naidu, a former employee at his company, have been charged with fraud, in that they misrepresented themselves as working for Alice Johnston but were apparently working for her alleged former lover, prominent businessman James Murray.
Murray had been shot several times in 2014, and Johnston had been arrested by Bedfordview police.
In an effort to clear her name, she had hired O’Sullivan who, Johnston alleged, was already working for Murray.
O’Sullivan is alleged to have met with Johnston and accused her of being involved in Murray’s shooting and appears to have offered a deal in which she would plead guilty.
“You’re going to plead guilty, and we’ll get you a suspended sentence so that you won’t have to go to prison, do you know what I mean?” O’Sullivan said, according to transcripts from the meeting, adding he would try to save her from prison.
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Two days after meeting with O’Sullivan, Johnston underwent a polygraph examination, which she agreed to.
The examiner stated Johnston had said she was in an abusive relationship with Murray, who had “threatened to harm her and her family, and has also arranged to have her arrested for theft and fraud”.
“Ms Johnston was asked to submit to a polygraph examination to confirm that she was in no way involved in the shooting of Mr Murray,” the examiner wrote.
According to the results of the examination, the test was done “in accordance with the US Air Force Modified General Question Technique”, apparently generally accepted as a reliable technique.
The findings indicated Johnston had “not been truthful” when answering the questions put to her, and O’Sullivan should include her in his investigation.
After the polygraph, an email between O’Sullivan and Murray came into Johnston’s possession.
“When I read this email I became aware, for the very first time, that O’Sullivan had turned against me and was now assisting Murray, for a reward, to lure me into making incriminating confessions,” Johnston stated.