South Africa: acquittal in mining magnate murder

A convicted South African drug smuggler has been acquitted of the murder of a mining magnate.

Glenn Agliotti was acquitted Thursday in a Johannesburg court after a trial which began in July after seven postponements.

He was charged in the Sept. 2005 shooting death of Brett Kebble, a prominent mining entrepreneur and philanthropist.

The state prosecution had concluded its case, citing a lack of credible evidence.

Judge Frans Kgomo said it was unconstitutional to ask Agliotti to incriminate himself with his testimony.

Prosecutors did not say whether they would appeal.

Police took repeated criticism for botching the murder investigation. Agliotti was at the time close friends with former national police chief Jackie Selebi, who was convicted of corruption in July.