Terror-accused Thulsie brothers' case to be transferred to high court

Brandon-Lee Thulsie and Tony-Lee Thulsie. Picture Credit: Facebook (via TimesLIVE)
Brandon-Lee Thulsie and Tony-Lee Thulsie. Picture Credit: Facebook (via TimesLIVE)

A provisional indictment has been prepared and will soon be served on terror-accused twin brothers Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said on Monday that the twins’ case would be transferred to the high court.

They are expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

“Tomorrow the formalities will be finalised for the case to be transferred to the high court. There is a provisional indictment.”

The state was given more time to build its case against the brothers in January.

The Thulsies‚ from Newclare‚ west of Johannesburg‚ were arrested on July 9 after their homes were searched by the police.

They face three counts relating to terrorism‚ for their alleged attempts to travel to Syria to join Islamic State and alleged plans to attack US and Jewish interests in South Africa.

Prosecutor Chris Macadam had asked for the lengthy postponement in January‚ to consult the governments of the US‚ Britain‚ France‚ Kenya‚ Mozambique‚ Syria and Turkey‚ to gather further evidence in the case.

According to the state‚ the twins had posted incriminating evidence on their social media accounts. It sought access to this information from service providers like Google through US authorities.

“The fact that there is now a provisional indictment means they have the outstanding information‚” Mfaku said.

The defence had argued previously that the twins’ constitutional rights were violated when they were arrested and that their arrests were carried out prematurely.

Magistrate Peter Du Plessis had found‚ however‚ that the brothers’ arrests were not premature as the state had received information alleging that the twins were planning attacks in South Africa and were flight risks.

The brothers were allegedly planning to travel to Syria‚ through Turkey and in another alleged attempt‚ through Mozambique‚ to join Islamic State.

Brother and sister Ibrahim and Fatima Patel‚ from Azaadville on the West Rand‚ who were arrested for terrorism last year along with the Thulsies‚ are on trial in the Kagiso Magistrate’s Court.

Lawyers for the Patel siblings have been critical of the police’s handling of the investigation.

In admissions made on the first day of the trial‚ the court heard that police ballistics expert Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Weiderman destroyed evidence‚ without telling prosecutors and the defence‚ and that Warrant Officer Jacobus Venter had flouted certain procedures in the investigation.

 

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