State still not ready to proceed with twins’ terror trial

Terror-accused twin brothers Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie
Picture: Supplied

Another lengthy postponement has been given in the court case of terror-accused brothers Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie.

The identical twins on Monday morning appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court‚ where Magistrate Simon Radasi granted the postponement.

The Thulsies have been in custody since their arrest in July last year. Earlier this year the matter was postponed for three months to allow the state to gather evidence from several foreign agencies.

Evidence from some of these are still outstanding‚ prosecutor Adele Barnard said when she asked for the postponement.

“I believe that it will be finalised in the next two months‚” she said.

Defence attorney Ashraf Parak objected‚ saying the state was drawing the matter out.

“In [another court] a three-month postponement was already given in January. Now the state comes in May 2017 requesting further postponement. It seems like a never-ending saga.”

Radasi said‚ however‚ that the state appeared to have only a few loose ends to tie up and postponed the case to July 5.

By the next court appearance the state will have disclosed evidence to the defence in order for it to consent to the centralisation of the 12 charges levelled against the brothers.

The 23-year-old brothers allegedly tried to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State and allegedly made plans to attack US‚ UK‚ Russian and Jewish interests in South Africa.

On their alleged target list was cartoonist Jonathan Zapiro and others.

“The said terrorist activities would have been perpetrated using firearms‚ explosives and possibly poisons and would have been directed against: the High Commission of the United Kingdom in Pretoria‚ the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Pretoria‚ the Embassy of the United States of America in Pretoria‚ the First Secretary to the French Mission in South Africa (Pretoria)‚ Mr J-B MP Prouhet [and] Jonathan Shapiro‚ a South African Jewish cartoonist‚” the provisional indictment in the matter said.

The twelfth count in the matter alleges that the brothers tried to leave the country through the Ficksburg border post in the Free State‚ using fraudulent Lesotho passports in August 2015.

The defence must now give consent for this charge to be tried with 11 others in the High Court in Gauteng.

– TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

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