No bail for terror trialist

A Pretoria high court judge yesterday ruled that Boeremag accused Jurie Vermeulen posed a danger to society and it was not in the interests of justice to release him on bail.

A Pretoria high court judge yesterday ruled that Boeremag accused Jurie Vermeulen posed a danger to society and it was not in the interests of justice to release him on bail.

Transvaal deputy judge president Jerry Shongwe turned down a bail application by Vermeulen, 39, who submitted that his five-year-old son needed him and was likely to suffer a permanent personality disorder if he did not get to know his father.

Vermeulen's son, Juan, was six months old when his father, a Free State farmer, was arrested in connection with high treason in October 2002. The boy sees him only for half an hour once a month.

A social worker said in a report that the lack of a father already had a very negative impact on the child and might have permanent consequences.

The state opposed bail, saying Vermeulen was unemployed, had no assets, faced a long jail term and was likely to flee. It had taken police eight months to track down and re-arrest two of the treason trialists after they escaped from the court cells. - Sapa

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