CAPE TOWN - British tabloid journalist,
Simon Wright, will go to trial in a South African court after
prosecutors rejected his bid to have charges related to the
World Cup tournament dropped, the court heard on Wednesday.
Wright was arrested and charged with helping Pavlos Joseph
illegally enter the England dressing room after their goalless
draw against Algeria in Cape Town on June 18.
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The reporter, who had to surrender his passport and has to
report to Cape Town police station every day, will be asked to
plea when his trial starts on Saturday in the Cape Town
Joseph agreed to pay a 750 rand ($97.28) fine and
prosecutors dropped criminal proceedings against the England fan
"The Directorate of Public Prosecutions has evaluated and
decided not to accede to the representations (to have Wright's
case dropped). The matter is ready to go to trial," senior
prosecutor Billy Downer told a special World Cup court on
Wright, married with two children, is a reporter for the
Sunday Mirror, who sent London-based lawyer Paul Mottram to
assist their employee's defence.
The newspaper has denied its reporter, accused of
orchestrating Joseph's access to England's dressing room, of any
wrongdoing in the incident which sparked concern about lax
security during Africa's first hosting of the tournament which
ends on Sunday.
Wright faces a charge of attempting to defeat the ends of
justice and of contravening the law by failing to provide
"There is absolutely no charge of conspiracy or collusion
between my client and Mr Joseph to commit any sort of crime,
there never was," Wright's South African lawyer William Booth
told the court on Wednesday.
Wright's bail of 3,000 rand ($389.1) was extended.
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