‘Cops tried to extort R50?000’ from Soni

2013-08-13 00:00

MURDER accused and businessman Rajivee Soni has alleged that a police colonel tried to extort R50 000 from him in the wake of the arrests of the first three suspects charged with the murder of Dr Bhavish Sewram.

The conversation allegedly took place in a moving car on July 2, during a meeting set up by a captain from Mountain Rise police.

Soni declined to reveal the names of the policemen, but said he will do so at his trial.

He cited the incident as an example of a “process of extortion” at the hands of members of the SAPS at Mountain Rise, of which he had “lost control”, he said.

The allegations were contained in an affidavit that Soni filed in support of his bail application yesterday.

According to Soni, the police captain, who has a red car, drove him to a parking lot at Hayfields, where another vehicle “flashed” at their vehicle.

After both vehicles had stopped the captain got out and went to the other car. To Soni’s “shock and amazement”, he returned with the colonel.

“The colonel sat in the front seat of the vehicle and I was asked to get into the back seat of the vehicle and the captain drove off. The colonel started speaking, and said that two suspects had appeared in court and they did not plead, and that he had enlisted the services of two police officers to convince the suspects not to plead guilty and not to admit anything,” he said.

“He [the colonel] then indicated to me that we ‘needed to pay these two policemen R50 000’.

“I immediately indicated to the colonel that I have had enough of being extorted at the hands of the police and I refused to part with any money and be involved in such a manner as I certainly was not the person who instructed hitmen to kill the deceased,” he said.

Soni alleged the colonel had also indicated that he knew the third accused in the case, Brian Treasurer, and said he could make him go on a “long holiday”.

“I indicated to him that I deny any involvement in the death of the deceased and therefore his approach to me was ill-placed and unnecessary and I will not become party to such an arrangement,” he said.

Soni said that two days later he received an SMS from an unknown number stating: “I don’t like your style, please contact the brain (sic) ou.”

Soni also alleged that during July, his co-accused, Treasurer, visited Soni’s mother’s home on two occasions and asked to see him.

He surmised that this was an attempt by the police to use Treasurer as an “instrument” to entice him to say something to implicate himself in Sew­ram’s murder.

Soni said he had every intention of standing trial and defending himself against the charge ofthe murder of Sew­ram.

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