Bfn court allows #VredeDiary accused Gupta permission to travel internationally  

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Featured Image (see WhatsApp image): Varun Gupta and his lawyer leaving the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court after a successful bail condition relaxation application. PHOTO: Olebogeng Motse

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) lost its case at the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court today, after Magistrate  Jan Greyvenstein allowed Varun Gupta permission to obtain his passport and travel to India for a religious ceremony. The NPA were against the court allowing Gupta to travel to India as it stated that he failed to meet part of his bail conditions. “Varun Gupta was supposed to apply for travel six or more weeks in advance so that the investigating officer to investigate the circumstances surrounding the trip,” NPA spokesperson, Luvuyo Mfaku said. The accused was one of 8 suspects that appeared at the same court in February this year for their alleged involvement in the Estina Dairy Farm saga in Vrede. However, upon granting Gupta permission to travel, Greyvenstein stated he authorized Gupta permission to travel because no new evidence had been uncovered against him in the last three months. He also added that Gupta met all the requirements, as he neither poses a threat to others nor will he jeopardize public order as well as other interests of justice. He also made reference to Section 35 in the South African Constitution an accused person cannot be kept before his trial as an anticipatory form of punishment and the accused has the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Though Greyvenstein expressed that he does have concern that the Gupta nephew may not return to South Africa owing to the fact that his family is overseas among other concerns he noted, he loosened the accused’s bail conditions, thereby allowing permission to travel. Gupta and his legal team were ordered to return to South Africa no later than 27 May 2018. The Gupta relative will travel tonight to the OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg to New Delhi then to Dehradun In India, where he is set to attend a religious ceremony.

Pulane Choane

pulane@centralmediagroup.co.za