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Former S. African police chief convicted of corruption

By the CNN Wire Staff
Former police chief Jackie Selebi, pictured here in April,  has been found guilty of corruption resulting from his relationship with a convicted drug dealer.
Former police chief Jackie Selebi, pictured here in April, has been found guilty of corruption resulting from his relationship with a convicted drug dealer.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former police chief found guilty of corruption
  • Once-powerful politician faces up to 15 years in prison
  • ANC says verdict proves South Africa follows the rule of law

Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN) -- South Africa's former police chief, Jackie Selebi, was found guilty Friday of corruption resulting from his relationship with a convicted drug trafficker, the state news agency in South Africa reported.

Selebi will face 15 years in prison when he is sentenced July 14.

After a 4 1/2-year trial, Judge Meyer Joffe rejected Selebi's defense that there had been a conspiracy against him, although he acquitted Selebi on a charge of defeating the ends of justice, according to the SAPA news agency.

South Africa's ruling African National Congress party said the verdict "clearly indicates that South Africa as a country is governed by laws that are applied without any fear or favor to anyone, regardless of their standing."

Selebi was until recently one of the most powerful political figures in South Africa. He served as president of Interpol from 2004 to 2008 and was a close ally of former South African President Thabo Mbeki.

His relationship with drug baron Glenn Agliotti was no secret. Asked about it at a news conference once, Selebi famously said, "He's my friend. Finished and klaar" -- an Afrikaans term meaning "that's the end of it."

The court found Selebi gave favors to Agliotti in exchange for money and expensive clothes.

Selebi refused to comment as he left the courtroom Friday, telling reporters, "Nothing, nothing" before walking into a waiting room and being hugged by family and friends, according to SAPA.

Former police colleagues formed a human chain around Selebi as he left the courthouse and got into a waiting car, the news agency said.

Agliotti is scheduled to go on trial later this year for murder in an unrelated case.

CNN's Robyn Curnow contributed to this report.

 
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