Fake prosecutor accused under house arrest

2010-11-03 00:00

SUKENA Montague, who faces several counts of extortion and corruption, was yesterday granted bail of R2 000 by magistrate Amanda Bezuidenhout.

Bezuidenhout said the investigating officer, Rajeev Soorajbally, had not placed any significant reasons on record for opposing bail in the matter.

“All the reasons he gave were based on his own fears and speculation. No factual evidence was provided,” the magistrate said.

Bezuidenhout added that the accused’s guilt is not the issue in the bail application, but whether or not she poses a risk to the investigation.

In the circumstances, she ruled it is in the interests of justice to grant Montague bail, but ordered that Montague be placed under correctional supervision while on bail.

Montague (43) will remain under house arrest, but will be entitled to go to work and attend religious ceremonies.

The court ordered that Montague’s bank card — which had been seized by the police — be returned to her.

However, Montague’s request that the police also return her cellphone — on which she allegedly sent SMS messages to victims of her scams, as well as an alleged bomb threat to her landlord — was turned down.

No additional charges were added to the charge sheet yesterday, but the investigating officer testified last week that police are finalising investigations into numerous other complaints against Montague.

The charges she currently faces are:

• Corruption and extortion for allegedly promising Rajeshree David — the mother of convicted murderer Kalisha Rajcoomar — that she could have her daughter released from prison in return for payment of R20 000.

•Extortion and corruption involving R52 000 and R20 000 arising from similar promises allegedly made to Vasantha Sewkarran (mother of Rajcoomar’s husband and co-accused Amith Sewkarran) that she could influence local magistrate Divesh Mootheram to have her son released. She also claimed to be a representative of the Director of Public Prosecutions who could make Sewkarran’s case “disappear”.

•A further charge of extorting R2 000 from Agnes Mnikathi in 2009 by advising her she could clear her name with a credit bureau.

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