Former spy boss relieved by acquittal

Former spy boss Billy Masetlha said he was relieved that the so-called hoax e-mail trial was...

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Former spy boss Billy Masetlha said he was relieved that the so-called hoax e-mail trial was over.<?xml:namespace prefix="o" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"?>

Masetlha, controversial IT expert Muziwendoda Kunene and Funokwake Madlala were acquitted in the Commercial Crimes Court in <?xml:namespace prefix="st1" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"?><city w:st="on"><place w:st="on"><?xml:namespace prefix="u1"?><city u2:st="on"><place u2:st="on">Pretoria on Thursday after being on trial for more than three years.

Masetlha said the acquittal proved what he had been saying all along, that he was innocent.

“I think that I have been vindicated.”

The state alleged that Masetlha and Madlala hired <place w:st="on">Kunene to create the hoax e-mails and then pretend that he had intercepted them.

When the prosecutor closed her case on Thursday, the defence asked for a discharge, arguing that the case against the men was weak.

Magistrate Dawie Jacobs agreed and granted the application.

He said the state had failed to present evidence of fraud, adding that the case was politically-motivated.