‘Irony’ of accused in fraud case

ONE of the men accused of defrauding the Bethelsdorp Development Trust (BDT) out of millions of rands pinned the blame on his co-accused as the long-awaited trial finally got under way yesterday.

Robert Gallagher and Ronald Niegaardt, both in their 40s, pleaded not guilty to fraud charges amounting to R8-million in the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court.

Putting his version before court for the first time, Gallagher said he was the one who called for the initial investigation into the trust’s finances.

But a short while later he was arrested.

The BDT was established by Gallagher and Niegaardt, along with four others, in November 2004 to promote sustainable development in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas. – Kathryn Kimberley

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