The Johannesburg private investigator who was arrested for being in possession of murdered former soccer star Marc Batchelor’s cellphone has been released.
Police charged the man – who cannot be named as he did not appear in court – for defeating the ends of justice yesterday.
“The suspect took the victim’s cellphone from his car. Information was found to have been deleted from the cellphone,” said police spokesperson Col Lungelo Dlamini. The private investigator was due to appear in the Randburg magistrate’s court, but did not do so.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane told Sowetan’s sister publication, TimesLIVE, that the matter was not put on the court roll “because further investigation still needs to be done by police”.
She referred further questions to the police. Dlamini said because the matter was not put on the court roll, the suspect had been released. “This does not stop our investigations. They are continuing,” he said.
Dlamini would not elaborate on how police had found the suspect in possession of Batchelor’s cellphone, how the suspect had come to be in possession of the phone, or how detectives had established that data had been deleted from the device.
Batchelor was gunned down on Monday evening last week in the driveway of his home in Olivedale, Johannesburg, by two men riding a motorbike. Batchelor’s gardener, who was with him at the time, escaped unscathed. His dog, Dakota, was seriously injured in the shooting.