Alleged drug dealer awaits bail ruling

2009-03-09 00:00

A Pietermaritzburg magistrate will rule on Thursday whether to grant bail to Loganathan Reddy (49), who is facing charges of dealing in 807 Ecstasy and 189 Mandrax tablets.

Police allege that Reddy was caught counting the tablets in the bedroom of his home in Sarojini Road on February 13 by two policemen who went there in response to a tip-off.

The defence has alleged that Reddy was framed by police. Two defence witnesses — Reddy’s wife, Charmaine, and his neighbour, Khaled Rahim (74) — testified that after searching the house, five police officers left empty-handed and returned later with a “package” alleged to contain drugs.

Reddy’s lawyer, Viren Naidoo, argued yesterday that the state has not disproved this testimony and that in the light of the “tainted” investigation, Reddy ought to be given bail.

Prosecutor Miriam Aboobaker said the defence version is merely “allegations”.

She said Reddy was not obliged during his bail hearing to reveal the basis of his defence. He chose to do so, but the evidence led is relevant only to the actual trial and not to the issue of bail.

She disputed Naidoo’s submission that Reddy played “open cards” with the court, and pointed out that the prosecution has discovered by chance that Reddy faces two pending cases for unlawful possession of Mandrax.

The second case, which Reddy claimed to have “forgotten” about, she said, relates to his court appearance on February 12, the day before his latest arrest, on a charge of possession of five pieces of Mandrax.

Aboobaker told magistrate R. Kunene that Reddy appears to have a propensity to commit crimes while on bail and this alone is reason enough to deny him bail in this case.

Naidoo said it is incorrect to suggest that Reddy has a propensity to commit crime while on bail: he was clearly the victim of “malicious” arrest.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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