FSG FORENSIC INVESTIGATORS & AUDITORS | TRACERS | RISK MANAGERS |
SA's national litigation, corporate & government private intelligence, private/forensic investigation/auditing, loss & risk management specialists.
Entrapping persons suspected of illicit activity is sometimes the only way of harvesting evidence that will satisfy the requisite burden of proof for a successful criminal/civil prosecution.
However, entrapment should always only be considered a last resort option as there are considerable risks.
The line between entrapment and solicitation (which could also be labeled 'illegal entrapment') is thin. The impropriety of solicitation must unequivocally be avoided if entrapment is to be an act of forensic investigation that produces evidence that is admissible in legal proceedings if the credibility of the testimony of the person/s engaged in the entrapment exercise is not to be fatally undermined.
It is relevant that we record thatFSG trains its forensic investigators to always adopt the attitude that evidence is ALWAYS the testimony of a person, because it is always the case (with a few exceptions). A person who presents testimony in legal proceedings may substantiate his/her statements with documentation, photographs, video footage, objects, the conclusions made from the application of a science, professional expertise and/or a specific technique. However, it remains the fact that unless a person is able to interpret, explain and present so-called "physical evidence" in a legal proceeding, as a rule of thumb, such evidence cannot be introduced. It follows that a person who testifies must either possess or be coached to possess the capacity to express themselves in a clear, unambiguous, logical and precise manner. It is for this reason that legal practitioners uphold another principle, namely that unless an attorney/prosecutor who is presenting evidence in a legal proceeding by extracting testimony from a person knows the answer that a witness will give to a question, then that question should not be asked of the person who is giving testimony.
It is the understanding of FSG that the line between entrapment and solicitation – at least for the forensic investigator who is in private practice - is the satisfaction of the burden that there exists prior prima facie evidence (ie. reasonable suspicion) that those who are the subject of an entrapment exercise were previously involved in the activity that is the subject of the entrapment exercise.
Subject to satisfying the requirements for claiming prima facie evidence, FSG is available to execute the resource of entrapment as a means to gather evidence that is admissible in civil or criminal legal proceedings as long as our client will indemnify FSG from legal costs incurred to defend the legal claims/charges that may be (albeit without substance) brought against FSG as a consequence of conducting an entrapment exercise.
It is said that one must 'set a crook to catch a crook'. The truth lies not in the literal meaning of this statement (which implies that the means justifies the end), but instead lies in the reality that one must understand the criminal mind to catch a criminal. The really successful investigator is one that can beat the criminal at his own game - in the sense of having the capacity to anticipate what a criminal will do.
While FSG does not subscribe to the attitude that 'the means justifies the end', FSG will not avoid creative solutions to resolve clients' problems. We refer to the following by way of example and argument:
Fohla Security CC
t/a FSG FORENSIC INVESTIGATORS & AUDITORS | TRACERS | RISK MANAGERS |