E-toll evasion case briefly back in court

The trial of a Johannesburg man who allegedly used fake number plates to avoid paying e-tolls has been delayed despite the state and defence reaching a plea and sentence agreement.

Pretoria magistrate Kennith Chauke on Friday postponed the trial of Bulgarian researcher Dr Stoyen Hristov Stoychev to August 13.

Stoychev faces a charge of fraud and 987 charges of contravening the National Roads Agency and National Roads Act.

He allegedly used two sets of fake number plates on his Hyundai i30, or on occasion removed or defaced his number plates while using the N1 between Pretoria and Johannesburg between March and October 2014.

One of the false number plates belonged to the Bantam bakkie of another motorist who was a registered e-toll user.

He was nabbed after traffic officials set a trap for him on the N1 freeway in Centurion on October 2 last year.

Prosecutor Advocate David Broughton said the state and defence had reached a plea and sentence agreement which had been signed by the state and accused.

Both parties were ready to proceed with the case on Friday, but agreed to a postponement after discussions with the magistrate.

Magistrate Chauke said it was unfortunate that the case could not be finalised, but it was about e-tolls which had its own controversy.

He said he first wanted to consider the plea bargain agreement, as it might in future involve constitutional issues.

“If I agree with the settlement, hopefully we will be able to finalise it,” he said.

The accused’s bail of R10 000 was extended.

Source: News24

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E-toll evasion case briefly back in court