The business dealings of the man accused of the kidnapping and murder of Siam Lee came under the spotlight as the state began its cross examination in his bail application hearing in the Durban Regional Court on Thursday.
The 29-year-old businessman‚ who is facing a raft of charges including rape‚ cannot yet be named.
He was arrested in January several days after Lee‚ an escort‚ went missing from the Durban North brothel she was working at.
The state’s prime suspect‚ who faces sixteen charges relating to the murder of Lee as well as his alleged interactions with two other women‚ had testified that PI Brad Nathanson and his team had tortured him during the course of his arrest.
Advocate Martin Krog‚ acting for the suspect‚ described the investigation by the prominent Durban private investigator as “capture”‚ accusing Nathanson and his staff of evidence tampering‚ conducting an illegal search and an illegal arrest.
Surekha Marimuthu‚ for the state‚ had on Thursday begun the arduous task of wading through the suspect’s testimony‚ specifically the dealings of his various businesses.
The court heard that the man had a long list of registered companies‚ most of which had fallen dormant as he focused his energies on two ventures‚ one on the production of biofuel and the other on petroleum logistics.
Marimuthu attempted to introduce evidence that the man had been fingered in a fraud scam‚ using an internet posting from the site reportacrime.co.za.
Krog had risen in strenuous objection‚ citing that the matter was not encompassed in the charges levelled against him and were‚ in essence‚ baseless.
Magistrate Mohamed Motala refused to accept the documents into evidence‚ saying that they were inflammatory and served no purpose.
What became the central focus of the state’s line of questioning was an affidavit‚ deposed to by a Department of Environmental Affairs official. The official accused the suspect‚ and his biofuels business‚ of contravening environmental laws.
The court heard that he would be charged criminally for this alleged transgression.
The bail application‚ hamstrung by a series of delays‚ will be heard again in April.