Suspected ATM gang in bail plea

2013-06-17 00:00

THE prosecution has urged a regional court magistrate not to grant bail to 11 alleged members of an ATM bombing syndicate.

The accused are currently appearing on 31 charges in KZN, including the murder of a policeman in the Howick area.

The charges they face include three counts of murder and multiple counts of attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, theft, malicious injury to property, contravening the explosives Act, and unlawful possession of machine guns, ammunition and explosives.

The offences were committed at Nottingham Road, Howick, Merrivale, Greytown and Utrecht between September 28, 2012 and January 13 this year.

Addressing regional court magistrate Kevin Leat on Friday, state advocate Dorian Paver said the accused allegedly shot and killed police constable Vidhur Jadoo during the performance of his duties at Howick on November 7 last year, and two innocent bystanders ラ Bongokuhle Nkosi and Sizwe Gule ラ who died in a モhail of gunfireヤ during a robbery at Utrecht on December 5 last year.

Paver said the モplethora of chargesヤ facing the accused are of the most serious nature in respect of which they face minimum sentences of life imprisonment if convicted.

Because of the type of charges they face ï¾— which fall under schedule six of the Criminal Procedure Act ï¾— Paver said the law stipulates that they must remain in custody unless the court finds that exceptional circumstances exist.

He said the state feels there is a high risk the accused will evade their trial and endanger public safety if they are given bail.

Defence advocate Goodman Nukeri and attorney Eric Baloyi who represent the accused, meanwhile argued that the stateメs case against their clients appeared to be モweakヤ and said they ought to get bail.

Nukeri and Baloyi submitted that the accused were not found in possession of any weapons or explosives, but were mere passengers in a taxi when they were arrested. They submitted that conditions could be attached to any amount of bail granted in order to ensure that the accused return to court to stand trial.

The court was told that each of the accused was able to pay R5 000 bail.

Baloyi also handed the court a copy of a newspaper clipping suggesting that the ATM bombers who were captured on CCTV footage when committing offences in Merrivale were white. Since none of the accused are white, it was possible they were wrongly charged, he said.

Leat is expected to give a ruling on June 24.


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