Breytenbach could face criminal charges

Prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach was accused of destroying evidence on her official laptop.

Suspended Prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach. Picture: Mandy Wiener/EWN.

PRETORIA - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has laid criminal charges against Glynnis Breytenbach for destroying evidence on her official laptop and refusing to hand it over to investigators.

A senior manager in the NPA's integrity management unit on Tuesday gave evidence against the suspended prosecutor in her disciplinary hearing in Pretoria.

Investigator Hercules Wasserman gave a detailed account of how Breytenbach and her attorney refused to hand over her official laptop.

"This is the first time an investigator is doing an internal probe. In the four years I have been with the NPA, this was the first time I encountered such resistance from a person in terms of handing over the computer."

Wasserman said he was concerned that evidence on the laptop would be tampered with.

"We have got forensic evidence to prove that [evidence was] destroyed by loading forensic tools to the laptop and that was our fear from the onset."

The investigator said they were left no choice but to open a criminal case with the police.

The matter will resume on Wednesday.

Breytenbach was suspended in April for allegedly interfering in a probe looking into her conduct.

The prosecuting body also claims she was suspended because of her involvement in a mining rights case.

But sources close to the Breytenbach case believe she was suspended in a bid to prevent her from prosecuting former Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

TWEETS FROM THE CASE:

@ewnreporter: #Breytenbach Wasserman: We can show that evidence was compromised by loading software. That was our fear all along.

@ewnreporter: #Breytenbach Wasserman: They were interfering with our investigation. The laptop was critical for us to look at case files, emails.

@ewnreporter: #Breytenbach Wasserman claims Breytenbach's lawyer said he would remove all info from laptop and return it to NPA as an asset.

@ewnreporter: #Breytenbach Wasserman: Concerned that she left her laptop with her attorney and gave him password. Could have access to all her cases.

@ewnreporter: #Breytenbach Wasserman: It would be completely impractical to differentiate between personal and work information on laptop.