Terry Price seeks perly bail money to pay Sars

The Herald (South Africa) - - Front Page - Devon Koen [email protected]­soblack­star.co.za

Ad­vo­cate Terry Price owes the SA Rev­enue Ser­vice al­most R1m – and he needs per­lemoen poach­ing sus­pect Ju­lian Brown to set­tle his le­gal bill so that the tax­man can get his dues.

This is one of the rea­sons Price gave when ask­ing, in the Port El­iz­a­beth High Court on Thurs­day, that Brown’s R800,000 bail be re­duced.

The court ap­pli­ca­tion, that took a some­what nasty turn when Price ac­cused state at­tor­neys of be­ing pompous and ar­ro­gant, was ar­gued be­fore judge Man­dela Makaula.

Price told the court that Brown, 32, would have to ap­point new coun­sel if his bail was not re­duced as he and in­struct­ing at­tor­ney Al­wyn Griebenow would have to with­draw from the mat­ter.

“If we are forced to with­draw [on fi­nan­cial grounds], this would be huge trou­ble for [Brown],” Price said.

Brown also did not qual­ify for le­gal aid, he said.

If Brown did ap­point a dif­fer­ent le­gal team, even if sub­stan­tially cheaper, it would take time and in­cur huge costs, Price ar­gued.

He said that he, him­self, owed “the Re­ceiver of Rev­enue R800,000” and he re­quired Brown to pay him what he was due so that he could pay the tax­man.

“[The funds] are vi­tal to me [and Griebenow] needs them badly, as he has tes­ti­fied,” Price said.

State pros­e­cu­tor ad­vo­cate Martin le Roux said there was no need for Brown to have ac­cess to the bail money only to pay his lawyer and that Brown was in a po­si­tion to gen­er­ate the money that he needed.

“That [bail] money came from friends and fam­ily,” Le Roux said.

“It has since come out that the money has been paid back and [Brown] has gen­er­ated more money since.”

Le Roux told Makaula it seemed that Price was hold­ing him, and the court, to ran­som by claim­ing that if the money was not avail­able he would with­draw from the case.

He said it was un­usual for the fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion be­tween an ac­cused and his le­gal coun­sel to be dis­cussed in court.

“I am a lit­tle sur­prised that the money is needed to pay tax – this is an is­sue be­tween the de­fence team and [Brown].”

Price said it was un­ac­cept­able for Le Roux to sug­gest that he and Griebenow “knock on other doors” to get the money they are ask­ing from the court.

“That is my money, not [Brown’s],” he said.

The bail re­ceipt had been ceded to Griebenow by Brown when he took over the case and it was there­fore not Brown’s per se.

Price pre­sented three sim­i­lar cases where the judge had re­duced bail amounts sig­nif­i­cantly to pay le­gal fees.

How­ever, Le Roux ar­gued that the cir­cum­stances in those mat­ters were dif­fer­ent and that not all the par­tic­u­lars of the cases were be­fore court.

Makaula asked Price to fur­nish him with fur­ther in­for­ma­tion in re­la­tion to a par­tic­u­lar Dur­ban High Court case, which saw the bail amount re­duced from R500,000 to R25,000.

“I have never come across a case [like this], other than the three you brought,” he said.

Brown, along with Eu­gene Vic­tor, 33, and Bran­don Turner, 38, faces a string of charges in­clud­ing per­lemoen poach­ing, rack­e­teer­ing and money laun­der­ing.

They have all pleaded not guilty.

Judg­ment in that mat­ter is ex­pected to be de­liv­ered on Fe­bru­ary 5.

Judg­ment in Brown’s ap­pli­ca­tion for a re­duc­tion in the bail amount and in Vic­tor’s ap­pli­ca­tion for bail is ex­pected on De­cem­ber 14.

TERRY PRICE

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