NPA victories ‘will not last the twitching of an eye’: Gupta lawyer
17 April 2018
BY KARYN MAUGHAN
The Gupta family lawyers said they were confident that an order used to seize assets worth R180-million from them will be overturned in court.
“The respective victories are temporarily satisfactory to the Hawks and the NPA and are in fact no victories at all. These apparent victories are illusory and will not last the twitching of an eye‚” lawyer Rudi Krause said in a statement.
Law enforcement authorities on Monday acted on a court order to seize multiple Gupta-owned or linked assets‚ including 65 cars‚ 46 properties‚ a helicopter‚ two aircraft‚ cash in several bank accounts and earth moving equipment.
“The curators‚ who gave effect to this raid‚ set about making an inventory of assets they were required to list in terms of the court order‚” Krause said.
“This was done with much fanfare notwithstanding that the curators were warned that an application would be brought for a reconsideration of the order obtained on an ex parte basis in which the court will be asked to discharge the order made without notice to the parties.
“It is believed that the media hype was at the instance of the Hawks temporarily basking in the glory of an order taken without notice to the parties.”
Krause said the Guptas would head to the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday to overturn the freezing of the Optimum and Koornfontein Mine rehabilitation funds‚ which the Gupta lawyers said the “NPA wrongly and without merit seized”.
Krause said the Gupta legal team would then bring an urgent challenge to the freezing of the family’s properties and seek an urgent reconsideration of the latest asset preservation order granted in the Estina Dairy Project case.
The Asset Forfeiture Unit was granted a preservation order against the same assets in January this year. Atul Gupta and all other Gupta-linked companies and accused involved in the case contested the order and were successful in having a large portion of it overturned.
The state then used an interim report by curator Eugene Nel to bring a fresh application for the freezing of Gupta assets. His report supported the National Prosecuting Authority’s argument that a large number of assets belonging to the Gupta associates involved in the Estina project were the proceeds of crime.