Agrizzi applies for bail in corruption case involving former ANC MP Vincent Smith

494

The state is opposing former Bosasa Angelo Agrizzi’s bail application in his corruption case at the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court sitting in the Palm Ridge magistrate’s court.

Agrizzi is a co-accused in the R800,000 fraud and corruption case against former ANC MP Vincent Smith, who is accused of accepting gratification from Bosasa  to act in its interest in parliament.

The state claims that Agrizzi had lied under oath about a house worth R13.5m that he owns under a trust account. The state also says he failed to pay his bond on which he owed R8.7m, which led to the property being auctioned off last week.

Agrizzi is said to have been hospitalised when Smith first appeared in early October. He appeared in court with an oxygen tank, which his lawyer said was now a permanent feature due to his ill health.

The state said Agrizzi had also failed to hand over his Italian passport, which his lawyer says is lost and that they informed the Italian consulate. Agrizzi’s lawyer, Daniel Wiltz, said they were disturbed by the state’s sudden change in tone. He said they were not informed prior to coming to court that the state planned to oppose bail. He said he was blindsided in court by the state.

“If you’re going to oppose, notify your colleagues beforehand. I find that a little disturbing from the state’s side,” Wiltz said.

“It is common practice that if you intend opposing you take the common courtesy to inform your colleague to say, ‘I’m opposing and this is why I’m opposing’.”

Agrizzi is charged with fraud and corruption where the state alleges he facilitated payments amounting to R800,000 to  Smith between 2015 and 2016.

According to the state, the payments facilitated by Agrizzi were gratification to ensure that Smith used his position as chairperson of the portfolio committee on correctional services to act in the interests of Bosasa.