- The Bloemfontein High Court has set aside the Asset Forfeiture Unit’s (AFU) R250 million restraining order obtained against the Guptas and their associates
- The ruling effectively means just over R250 million in business and personal assets linked to the family will be unfrozen
- The court found there was no reasonable basis to believe the Guptas or their associates would be convicted in connection with the Estina dairy farm scandal
The Guptas have scored a massive legal victory over the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). On Monday, the Bloemfontein High Court has set aside the Asset Forfeiture Unit’s (AFU) R250 million restraining order obtained against the Guptas and their associates.
The AFU order was obtained against several Gupta-linked companies, their directors and known associates of the Guptas. All of those involved are co-accused in the Estina dairy farm scandal.
The court ruling effectively means that just over R250 million worth of business and private assets linked to the Guptas will be unfrozen.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the assets which are set to be unfrozen include 43 homes, various farms and business properties, two private jets, a helicopter, bank accounts, sports cars and luxury SUV’s.
Judge Phillip Loubser found there was currently no reasonable basis to believe the Guptas or any of their associates would be convicted on money-laundering or fraud charges connected to the Estina scandal.
This is the second time the Guptas have successfully challenged and beaten the AFU in court this year.
Last month, the AFU secured the restraining order, but crucially gave the parties involved no opportunity to oppose the matter.
The High Court only needed to establish whether the available evidence would reasonably support a conviction to grant the restraining order.
Judge Loubser, however, found the evidence provided by the NPA had many shortcomings, none of which had been adequately explained.
Loubser also found there was uncertainty as to the source of funds being transferred between various bank accounts in the matter. He noted that the evidence did not conclusively show the source of the funds was from criminal activity.
The Guptas lawyer, Advocate Mike Hellens said the state was hopelessly incompetent.
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