Home News Charge withdrawn in ‘fake’ robbery case

Charge withdrawn in ‘fake’ robbery case

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Marcel Karsten, 38, faced a charge of obstructing the ends of justice after allegedly faking a robbery at his home and then claimed that diamonds worth R10 million were stolen during the incident.

IN COURT: Marcel Karsten appeared in the Kimberley Magistrates Court yesterday. Picture: Soraya Crowie

A CHARGE was yesterday withdrawn against a well-known Kimberley businessman who allegedly “faked” a R10 million diamond robbery at his home.

Marcel Karsten, 38, faced a charge of obstructing the ends of justice after allegedly faking a robbery at his home in Carters Glen and then claimed to police that diamonds worth R10 million were stolen during the incident.

He was arrested at his home on June 6 this year and released on R10 000 bail shortly thereafter.

The State alleged that Karsten reported to the police that a housebreaking and theft had taken place at his home in Swartberg Avenue, Carters Glen, on June 1 2018 and he claimed that property, including diamonds to the value of R10 million, was stolen during the incident.

According to the charge sheet: “Police attended to the housebreaking and theft complaint, investigated the scene and opened a docket, but it later came to light that no housebreaking or theft took place and that Karsten allegedly committed the offence himself to cover up the theft of diamonds stored at his house for safekeeping.”

It is believed that the diamonds (apparently four “irreplaceable”, sought-after stones) were given to Karsten for safekeeping by a friend, who also opened theft charges against Karsten but then withdrew them after Karsten apparently returned the diamonds to him.

State prosecutor Rohann Steyn yesterday indicated that the State wanted to provisionally withdraw the charge, as the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had not yet received the docket and investigations were still outstanding, after Kimberley Magistrate’s Court senior prosecutor Tebogo Namisa requested further investigation after receiving the docket for instruction after Karsten’s last appearance.

Karsten’s legal representative, Renita du Plooy, said that she had no objection to having the charge provisionally withdrawn but requested that this be done in terms of section 342A (3)(c) of the Criminal Procedure Act, meaning that the State may not proceed with the matter without written instruction from the DPP.

“The accused’s wife is pregnant with their second child and the case has had a negative impact not only on his family but also on him financially,” Du Plooy said.

Magistrate Lance Roach told Karsten that while this was “not the end of it”, all accused had the right to a speedy trial and conceded that there was now an unreasonable delay on the part of the State to complete investigations, adding that Karsten had been arrested about six months ago.

Roach withdrew the charge, in terms of section 342A (3)(c) of the Criminal Procedure Act, noting that should the State reinstate charges this could only be done with the written instruction of the DPP in the Northern Cape.