South Africa: Hawks Officer Who Dragged Investigator Paul O'Sullivan Off Plane to Be Charged


The Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions has decided to charge a Hawks warrant officer who was part of a 15-man posse of officers who in 2016 dragged forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan off a London-bound plane in front of his children.

Warrant Officer Jacobus Vlok will appear in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on 18 July to face charges of extortion and defeating the ends of justice. The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has confirmed to Daily Maverick the DPP's decision to prosecute Vlok.

Vlok was one of several Hawks members instrumental in O'Sullivan's arrest on 1 April 2016 on trumped-up charges under the South African Citizenship Act. The case against O'Sullivan was later dismissed.

The charge of extortion relates to an alleged attempt by Vlok to intimidate Lynn Fliess whom O'Sullivan had assisted to obtain protection orders for herself and family against her former husband. Fliess, fearing for her life, had removed her husband's guns from their home and handed them for safekeeping to a dealer. She did so on the advice of O'Sullivan.

Vlok, in a recorded interview with Fliess's attorneys, said he was going to charge Fliess and O'Sullivan with racketeering. Fliess later lodged charges at Douglasdale against her...

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