Rul­ing on bail in Lee case draws near

Sunday Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - NABEELAH SHAIKH

MR P, the man ac­cused of mur­der­ing Dur­ban North woman Siam Lee, may fi­nally hear on June 20 whether or not his bail ap­pli­ca­tion has been suc­cess­ful.

He made his lat­est ap­pear­ance in the Dur­ban Mag­is­trate’s Court on Fri­day, when both the State and his de­fence made their clos­ing ar­gu­ments on the mat­ter.

The As­sagay busi­ness­man, 29, faces a raft of charges, in­clud­ing the mur­der and kid­nap­ping of Lee, fraud, crimen in­juria and an­other rape charge not re­lated to Lee.

Mr P can­not not be named in the me­dia be­cause of the rape charges he faces.

Lee, 20, dis­ap­peared from an al­leged Dur­ban North brothel on Jan­uary 4. Her charred re­mains were found on a farm in the KZN Mid­lands two days later.

The court’s gallery was packed on Fri­day, with mem­bers of the DA’S Women’s Net­work and the Stop Hu­man Traf­fick­ing move­ment present along with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Bobbi Bear or­gan­i­sa­tion, who brought red teddy bears, a sym­bol of say­ing no to sex­ual vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren. Based on the court turnout, the State ar­gued that there was pub­lic sup­port for Mr P be­ing de­nied bail.

Dur­ing clos­ing ar­gu­ments, mag­is­trate Mo­hamed Mo­tala tore into the State’s ar­gu­ment by high­light­ing that he hadn’t heard enough about the mur­der of Lee over the 11-day bail hear­ing.

He said the State’s only ev­i­dence was based on a ve­hi­cle-track­ing re­port which placed Mr P at the place where Lee’s charred re­mains were found.

Mo­tala ques­tioned the de­fence on the amount of bail Mr P could af­ford, if it were to be granted. Ad­vo­cate Martin Krog said his client could af­ford an amount of R30 000. Judg­ment is ex­pected to be de­liv­ered on June 20.

Siam Lee.

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