Police have agreed to release private investigator Paul O’Sullivan after his lawyers brought a late-night high court application challenging the legality of his arrest.
This comes after two hours of behind-the-scenes deliberations on Monday night.
O’Sullivan’s legal team‚ led by Afriforum lawyer Willie Spies‚ brought the application in the High Court in Pretoria‚ following O’Sullivan’s arrest on Monday afternoon.
Spies told Times Media O’Sullivan’s arrest was in contravention of a November court order‚ in which police had agreed to give O’Sullivan 48 hours’ notice before arresting him.
The order also said police would allow O’Sullivan to hand himself over to the nearest police station if arrested.
After an almost two-hour delay, proceedings began shortly before 11pm‚ only for police lawyers to request an adjournment.
After 10 minutes‚ police advocate David Mtsweni and O’Sullivan’s advocate‚ Quintus Pelser‚ agreed that O’Sullivan should be released by no later than 11.30pm with no bail being processed.
“Us agreeing to release Mr O’Sullivan does not mean we’ll not arrest him in the future‚” Mtsweni said.
He said that as per the November court order, they would give O’Sullivan 48 hours should they want to arrest him.
Pelser said the agreement was that “there should be no processing of a bail application – a phone call can be made and the door can be unlocked”.
Meanwhile‚ acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane has refused to discuss the details of O’Sullivan’s arrest.
Phahlane appeared on eNCA’s The Justice Factor on Monday night‚ and had prepared to discussed police successes.
“I won’t dignify people like Paul O’Sullivan by granting them airtime to discuss their issues‚” he said.
Phahlane later told Justice Malala that he would not help “in making Paul O’Sullivan a hero”.
O’Sullivan, along with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid)‚ has been probing Phahlane and Phahlane has previously questioned his involvement in the case.