Suspect in Isis-linked murder of British couple wants new legal team
One of the three alleged Isis loyalists charged with the murder of a Cape Town-based British couple last year will have to make a fresh bid for bail following his request for a new defence team during his initial bail application on Friday.
Since Thursday the precinct around the Verulam family court, north of Durban, has been under lock-down as the bail application of one of the accused, Ahmed Jackson Mussa, a 35-year-old Malawian citizen, continued.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the heavy police presence was for "security reasons".
Court officials, members of the public and media were barred from entering the court.
It is understood that Mussa was accompanied by his co-accused, Sayfudeen Aslam Del Vecchio and Bibi Fatima Patel, who were denied bail last year.
The trio face a raft of charges pertaining to the kidnapping and murder of Cape Town-based British botanists Rodney and Rachel Saunders in February last year.
During their last appearance, Del Vecchio insisted that he and Patel be present at Mussa’s bail application because it directly affected their case.
NPA spokesman Natasha Ramkissoon-Kara told SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE late on Friday that the prosecution was informed during the proceedings that Mussa wanted "new legal counsel".
"So the bail application will have to start from scratch. The matter was originally postponed to August 18.
However the new legal counsel, once appointed, will have to contact the state for the bail application," she said.