Convicted killer Jason Rohde's bid against sentence likely to fail, says NPA

Rohde has asked the court to extend his bail pending his application for leave to appeal to the highest court in the land.

FILE: Wife killer Jason Rohde sits in the Western Cape High Court during sentencing proceedings on 27 February 2019. Picture: Bertram Malgas/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN -The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it does not believe another application by convicted wife killer Jason Rohde to fight his prison sentence will be successful.

READ: Convicted wife killer Jason Rohde wants bail extended pending ConCourt appeal

This has formed part of the state’s argument in the Western Cape High Court.

Rohde has asked the court to extend his bail pending his application for leave to appeal to the highest court in the land.

Last month the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) reduced his 20-year jail term to 15 years.

The courts have found that the former property boss strangled his wife at a Stellenbosch wine farm in 2016 and then tampered with the crime scene to make it look like she committed suicide.

During arguments in favour of his client’s bail being extended, advocate William King relied heavily on the fact that Judge Gayaat Salie Hlophe refused to allow for the cross-examination or further evidence by a defence-appointed psychiatrist who had compiled a report on Susan Rohde stating that she was depressed which increased her risk of suicide.

During the trial, Hlophe raised concerns during the testimony which made mention of anonymous persons and evidence already brought before the court.

King said the SCA found that the trial court irregularly curbed Rohde’s evidence in defence and as soon as the finding arose, he said it became clear that his client didn’t have a fair trial.

King said the loss of a fair trial could not be cured on appeal and so the applicant argued that the Constitutional Court ought to overturn the SCA’s decision, set proceedings aside and call for a retrial.

The state disagreed, saying it did not believe Rohde’s last attempt to stay out of jail would be successful.