National 26.7.2016 12:00 am

‘Terror’ twins arrest probed

The Thulsie brothers. Picture: Facebook

The Thulsie brothers. Picture: Facebook

Before the accused’s bail hearing can continue, it first needs to be established that they were lawfully arrested.

The defence team of Brandon-Lee and Toni-Lee Thulsie will have to put together a case arguing that the arrest and subsequent detention of the terrorism-accused twins was unlawful and unconstitutional.

This emerged during the second sitting of the twins’ bail hearing, in which defence attorney Anneline van den Heever and her team attempted to submit, as part of the bail application, that the Thulsie brothers were unlawfully arrested. To this, Magistrate Pieter du Plessis interjected, stating that, in terms of the Criminal Procedures Act, wrongful or unlawful arrest did not fall under a schedule 6 bail application and was thus not applicable to whether the brothers should receive bail.

After lengthy discussions between the prosecution, the defence and Du Plessis, it was decided that, prior to a bail hearing, the court should deal with the legality of the twins’ arrest.

The Citizen obtained documents attached to the twins’ bail application, including the affidavits of the twins, their mother, sister, Toni-Lee’s wife Adeela Alben and police. In these documents, the family details the events on July 9, when Brandon-Lee and his mother Wasiela Thulsie’s Newclare home was allegedly broken into by “20 to 30” police, who intimidated them into signing documents at the scene permitting a search and seizure of items from the house.

The twins’ mother alleged police tried to force her to read to them from the Koran and laughed when she refused on grounds of it being against her religion to do so in the manner they had requested.

The affidavit of Toni-Lee’s wife, Adeela, also detailed how their home in Florida, Roodepoort, was descended upon by police on the same morning, in which they were also required to sign documents at the scene.

In total, police seized from both homes 10 cellphones, an iPad and several SIM cards.

Both brothers state in their affidavits that there was no evidence linking them to the Islamic State (IS), nor was there evidence that their attempt to fly to Syria via Turkey was under the organisation’s instructions. In an application for a search warrant, police said the twins’ repeated attempts to leave the country showed they were under the instruction of IS.

The matter will continue on Thursday.


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