Judgment in Omotoso bail bid due on Tuesday
Judgment in the bail hearing of Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso is expected to be delivered on Tuesday, after the state wrapped up its closing arguments on Friday.
It is the third time Omotoso, 62, is applying for bail after being denied twice in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court and losing an appeal against the decision in the Port Elizabeth High Court.
Omotoso’s latest bid is based on new facts including that he was not a flight risk, that he would not interfere or threaten state witnesses and that the state had a weak case against him, with the trial been unjustifiably delayed.
He was arrested on April 20 2017, at the Port Elizabeth International Airport after arriving from Durban to be interviewed by the Hawks.
On Friday, prosecutor Nceba Ntelwa maintained there was a possibility that Omotoso would flee the country and evade his trial because if convicted he faced a lengthy jail term.
Ntelwa said at least nine witnesses had received threats via SMS after his initial trial started in October 2018 and that the case had not been unjustifiably delayed.
Omotoso’s temporary residential visa has expired and he has since been deemed a prohibited person in the country.
Omotoso and co-accused Lusanda Sulani, 37, and Zukiswa Sitho, 29, face 63 main and 34 alternative charges including rape, sexual assault, human trafficking and racketeering.
Omotoso has been in custody since his arrest and Sulani and Sitho are out on R2,000 bail each.
Their main trial is expected to continue on November 2.
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