Court refuses bail to former Mountain Rise top cop

2010-02-12 00:00

FORMER Mountain Rise police station commissioner Hariram Badul (60) was refused bail yesterday by regional court magistrate Chris van Vuuren, who ruled there is a likelihood that Badul will interfere with witnesses and the investigation into fraud and theft allegations facing him.

Badul’s attorney, Petrus Coetzee, confirmed immediately afterwards that an application for leave to appeal the ruling in the high court will be made urgently.

Van Vuuren said Inspector Robin Mays testified on behalf of the investigation team that there is evidence that Badul has already attempted to interfere with witnesses and the investigation, by ordering witnesses not to co-operate and to hide items relating to the investigation, and that he has a propensity to interfere with investigations.

His testimony was suppor­ted by way of statements. This included a statement by suspended Independent Complaints Directorate head Thabiso Ralo, who alleged in an affidavit that Badul tried to convince her to compromise her investigation into crime statistics at Mountain Rise station, and when she would not do so, directly threatened her.

Badul claimed she was “out for revenge” because she believed he was behind her suspension, but the fact was that she had not volunteered her statement, which was obtained by Mays on the instruction of state advocate Wendy Greeff, Van Vuuren said.

Another was a statement by a potential witness, Yugen Naidoo, containing an allegation that he was allegedly taken to Badul’s home and warned not to co-operate with the police in the present investigation. Badul denied this and maintained he only tried to assist Naidoo, advising him to see an attorney.

Mays also testified he had statements indicating Badul gave instructions to have items linked to the investigation hidden, and that a certain witness should hide or “disappear”.

There is evidence that witnesses in other investigations concerning Badul have come forward since his arrest, and he allegedly has great influence due to his position as a senior police officer for many years.

Van Vuuren agreed that he could not refuse to grant Badul bail, because of admissions he made in his evidence relating to his unlawful possession of a friend’s rifle and the use of police personnel and a vehicle for his private use.

However, he said this evidence goes a “considerable way” in showing Badul believes that he can and will act above the law.

Van Vuuren said Badul’s admission that he possessed and used someone else’s firearm is “particularly startling” when it is known that many people have been sent to prison for doing just that.

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