JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
A court in Johannesburg, South Africa, ruled on December 21 that the police could not be held criminally responsible for the death of trade union leader Dr.
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
1. GV Dr. Aggett's parents enter courtroom. 0.09
2. GV Magistrate and court officials enter. 0.18
3. GV Outside courtroom building. 0.24
4. SV ZOOM SCU Helen Suzman MP and now human rights campaigner speaks. (SOT). (2 SHOTS) 0.47
5. SV Mrs Aggett answers questions. (SOT) 1.00
6. SV Mr. Aggett gives reaction. (SOT) (2 SHOTS) 1.10
7. SV Dr. Aggett's girlfriend Liz Floyd speaks. (SOT) 1.33
8. GV John Vorster building where Aggett hanged himself. 1.40
SUZMAN: (SEQ 4)"Astonishment. Complete and utter astonishment. First of all, I think the finding went further than even the police could have dreamt of in their wildest dreams, and counsel for the police asked for an open verdict. What they got was total exoneration.
QUESTION:"Given your concern, what can you do now?"
SUZMAN:"Raise hell in parliament."
QUESTION: (SEQ 5)"Mrs Aggett what was your reaction?"
MRS AGGETT:"Well, I'm desperately disappointed as you can imagine. We expected ... well we weren't very hopeful,..but we did expect a better judgement than that I must say."
MR. AGGETT:(SEQ 6) "I'm terribly disappointed and I think the whole thing was very one-sided. There's nothing I can do really."
LIZ FLOYD: (SEQ 7) "I think that was a total cynical judgement. Cynical of a person who was obviously incredibly distressed and took the only way out that he could see. I believe that Neil was tortured and assaulted. I believe that he was put under incredible pressure. Everyone accepts in the inquest that he was not a person who was likely to commit suicide... so why is he dead?"
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Background: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
A court in Johannesburg, South Africa, ruled on December 21 that the police could not be held criminally responsible for the death of trade union leader Dr. Neil Aggett. He was the first white man to die while in police custody at the John Vorster police building. At the end of the longest inquest in South Africa's history, magistrate Petrus Kotze told the courtroom that nobody had driven Dr. Aggett to commit suicide on February 5 this year. Security police said Dr. Aggett had taken his own life, but family lawyers maintained that ill-treatment and brutality had driven Neil to kill himself at the end of his 70 day detention. Mrs Helen Suzman, the opposition Progressive Federal Party spokesman on civil rights said the court's decision was "extraordinary" and claimed it was even more than the police could have asked for. Dr. Aggett's parents admitted that they were both "very disappointed" as they emerged from the courtroom. Dr. Aggett's girlfriend, Dr. Liz Floyd, who was arrested with him, remains unconvinced by the decision.
Source: KEVIN HAMILTON AND REUTERS - LOUIS BREYTENBACH