On the face of it, Shamila Batohi has returned from India with nothing new to add to the evidence the King Commission has already obtained. But is that really the case? I think not.
The King Commission’s ‘prosecutor’ admitted that the authenticated transcripts that will be with her from India shortly contain no more than the snippets of conversation that most of us saw in the media when the Cronje scandal broke. BUT, this time, they are authenticated.
Followers of the Commission will remember how many times Batohi was knocked back in her questioning of Cronje (and other witnesses) when she referred to the tapes. Cronje’s legal team, not surprisingly, objected whenever the taped conversations were mentioned because they were ‘hearsay’. Not any more.
Now Batohi can demand answers and push as hard as she likes to get them. Remember Cronje’s line: “…the guys are already unhappy that they haven’t received their money from the last one…”
That comment, amongst others, can now be explored. It is official. It was said, and it was said by Cronje.
Batohi may not have copies of other, incriminating documentation, but her ‘colleagues’ (and that is certainly how they treated her and she treated them, despite very different investigations) most definitely shared information with her. She will now piece together the ‘official’ and ‘unofficial’ evidence and her choice of questioning will no longer be hampered by seeminly petty but important legalities.
Horrifying rumours grow stronger by the day that Cronje may even have shared a bank account with former Indian captain Mohammad Azharrudin, based – believe it or not – in the Cayman Islands. Indian police and tax officials, remember, have already siezed documentation, bank statements and other ‘evidence’ pertaining to the financial dealings of atleast six Indian players and several more past and present officials. Batohi may not be able to bring her knowledge of that documentation into public ‘court’ when hearings resume, but the knowledge itself is what counts.
If there is more to come, and the ‘word’ is that there is plenty, then Batohi now – finally – seems to be in a position to expose it.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to get in touch.