Magistrate in Siam Lee murder trial tells prosecutor to get to the point

Siam Lee. (PHOTO: Facebook/)
Siam Lee. (PHOTO: Facebook/)

The prosecutor in the Siam Lee murder case has been criticised for her drawn out questioning during the bail application of the KwaZulu-Natal man accused of killing her. 

Prosecutor Surekha Marimuthoo was called out by defence advocate Martin Krog, who said she had drawn out the details in the bail application that had no point.

"Your worship, we have been sitting for six days, with the prosecutor not giving any indication of the direction this is taking. Can we please find out what the point of all this is?"

Magistrate Mahomed Motala concurred, asking Marimuthoo what the point of the painstaking details was.

"We are going at this for a long time and there are lots of minute details. I will give you latitude, but we need to get there quickly now."

By lunch on Wednesday, Marimuthoo indicated that she was nearly finished with her questioning of Philani Ntuli.

She said her lengthy questioning was aimed at proving that Ntuli was exaggerating claims of torture at the hands of Brad Nathanson Investigations and the police.

READ: I've been tortured since my arrest - Siam Lee murder accused

Marimuthoo and Ntuli often jousted pointlessly during proceedings in the Durban North Magistrate's Court, with the prosecutor demanding seemingly irrelevant details of his arrest.

Lee went missing early in January and her body was eventually found in a cane field in New Hanover.

'Five hours of torment and torture'

Ntuli dominated proceedings on Wednesday, with his lawyers barely needing to contribute as he described the alleged torture during his arrest.

He highlighted several occasions when police and private investigators had allegedly strangled him to "get their narrative".

"At one point, they brought a police evidence bag and put it over my head for 30 seconds at a time, while asking me questions and trying to force me to admit to killing the deceased."

READ MORE: 'Confess to killing Siam Lee or leave in a body bag' – police allegedly tell accused

In their most heated exchange Marimuthoo's questioned Ntuli on his change of clothes before he left his home during the arrest.

He said: "They made me change my clothes before we went off to the police station. I had been bleeding and had sustained other injuries."

Marimuthoo, however, said that the investigating officer had denied Ntuli's claims.

Laughing, Ntuli responded: "It was five hours of torment and torture during the arrest at my home. I was not in a state to request to take to my wardrobe and expect these people to adhere and assist me when they did not read me my rights. Why would I ask for a change of clothes when it is evidence of my torture at the hands of police?"

The matter continues.

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