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Omotoso set for another Christmas in jail as trial hits another snag

The court is awaiting feedback on a defence application to the Constitutional Court relating to the jurisdiction of the Port Elizabeth High Court.

FILE: A screengrab shows pastor Timothy Omotoso in the Eastern Cape High Court on 22 October 2018. Picture: SABC Digital News/youtube.com

CAPE TOWN - A restart in the sex trafficking trial of controversial Pastor Timothy Omotoso and two others has not seen much progress.

On Thursday, the matter again hit a snag and it was postponed until January.

The court is awaiting feedback on a defence application to the Constitutional Court relating to the jurisdiction of the Port Elizabeth High Court.

The sex trafficking trial against televangelist Omotoso, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho started afresh in July after Judge Mandela Makaula recused himself.

Judge Irma Schoeman was then assigned to the trial.

But since then, the defence has brought various applications labeled by the state as delay tactics.

The defence wanted the court to compel the State to supply further particulars relating to the charges, arguing the charge sheet was vague.

After that application was dismissed, they questioned whether the Port Elizabeth High Court had the jurisdiction to preside over all the charges.

The accused wanted the number of charges reduced, arguing that some of the alleged offences apparently occurred outside of Port Elizabeth.

But this application was also dismissed, prompting Omotoso's legal team to approach the appeals court, which also rejected it.

Now it's up to the Constitutional Court to rule on that application.

Omotoso will spend another Christmas behind bars while his co-accused are out on bail.