Badul: witness allegedly threatened

2010-10-09 00:00

THE regional court in Pietermaritzburg is hearing an application by the state to withdraw the bail of two co-accused charged alongside police director Hariram Badul, following an allegation that they attempted to interfere with a state witness.

Regional court magistrate Chris van Vuuren was told by Hawks investigator Colonel Bala Naidoo that (former Captain) Suresh Naraindath and businessman Sigamoney Pillay made what amounted to a threat when they visited the home of a state witness, Rajashree Narine, recently.

The alleged threat was to the effect that a certain state witness — Inspector Yugen Naidoo, referred to as “Stanley” — would not testify in the trial because while eating he would “get a scratching feeling in his throat and when he asks for water he will die of a heart attack even before he has a drink”.

Colonel Naidoo confirmed in reply to questions by advocate Chris Snyman (representing Pillay) that the witness “Stanley” is in protective custody. However, Naidoo said it would not be impossible for someone to find him.

He confirmed under cross-examination that Narine did not implicate either Pillay or Naraindath in her affidavit in relation to the charges they are facing.

Snyman suggested to Naidoo that his client was unaware that Narine was to be a state witness in the case. The application will proceed on Monday.

Badul and four others — Naraindath, Yunus Khan, Bhekuyise Nkabini and Pillay — have been charged with racketeering, fraud, theft, corruption and money laundering.

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