Africa-Press – South-Africa. The only altercation Sergeant Taswill Flink saw after the arrest of Jeremy Sias was between the murder accused and his co-accused, the officer told the Western Cape High Court.
The policeman, attached to the K9 Unit, vehemently denied that he assaulted Sias after taking him into custody, or that he attacked him with what resembled a wooden table leg, as alleged by murder accused Sias.
A trial-within-a-trial is unfolding regarding admissions made by Sias to the police that he murdered Meghan Cremer. He claimed to have been coerced into saying this, now admitting only to dumping her body after finding it in the boot of her car after taking it for a joyride.
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Flink, one of three officers Sias claims beat him the night he was apprehended, was led to Sias by Charles Daniels on 5 August 2019.
After Flink spotted Daniels driving without number plates, he (Daniels) claimed Sias had given him Cremer’s stolen car.
Following up on the lead, Flink and his two colleagues, who had been driving in a different vehicle, had gone to Sias’ home in the Egoli informal settlement, where he was arrested.
According to Flink, Daniels had been in the car with him, while Sias had been in the second vehicle.
At the Philippi police station, Sias, Daniels and a third person, who was later acquitted, got out of the cars.
“The accused and Daniels got into a confrontation, blaming each other,” Flink said.
He took Daniels into the police station to do enquiries regarding the vehicle, where it was discovered that it was registered as the one driven by the then-missing Cremer.
The three were booked in and placed in the holding cells.
Sias, Daniels and the third person were uninjured, Flink testified.
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Bashier Sibda, for Sias, said his client gave a different version of what had happened after they had parked and alighted the police vehicles.
While confirming that he and Daniels had had words, after Sias denied giving him the vehicle, and Daniels maintained that he had, the officers accused him of lying and started assaulting them.
Daniels, according to Sias, had been there when the one officer had assaulted him by hitting him with the fist.
Flink denied this, saying he was in the police station with Daniels.
Sias claimed he was further hit on the chest and then handcuffed to Daniels, where Flink’s colleague had repeatedly kicked his feet from under him. He had been unable to block his fall, while cuffed to Daniels, and had hit his head, he alleged.
Flink said this didn’t happen.
Sibda said that, according to this client, Flink himself had then beat him with his fists, before using a wooden pole, resembling a table leg, to hit him in the ribs. This, too, was denied by the sergeant.
Sias claimed Flink’s second colleague had gone to fetch the police patrol dog from the kennel in the vehicle and set the animal on him. He had ostensibly managed to escape injury by curling his toes back when the dog bit at his shoe, and moved out of his jacket when it lunged at his upper body.
Flink denied Sias’ version of events, including that a gun had been put to Daniels’ head.
According to Sias, the ordeal had lasted 15 minutes.
“I don’t know what to say,” Flink said, incredulous. “That’s not true.”
‘Where is the lady’
Sibda said the officers had beaten the suspects because they wanted to know “where is the lady”, as police had needed to act with urgency to find her or her body.
“When the accused denied he gave the car to Daniels, in frustration and desperation you accused him of lying and then started to assault him. Your first port of call within the parameters of the law had failed and you had no other option, but to cross the line to get the vital information,” Sibda told Flink.
“I disagree,” the policeman responded.
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The statements Sias made to the police, according to the defence, was as a result of being assaulted, threatened, promised a lesser sentence in a lower court, and not properly informed that he had the right to legal representation.
Sias in the early hours of 8 August 2019, led police to Cremer’s remains, which he admits he dumped on a farm in Olieboom Road, Philippi. He claimed to have taken her Toyota Auris for a joyride from Vadelandsche Rietvlei Farm, where he worked, and Cremer lived.
According to him, he later found her body in the boot of the car and disposed of it. He denies killing her, but claims he feared that he would be accused of her murder.
The trial continues on Monday.