National 28.7.2016 05:00 am

Terror arrest challenged

They are facing three counts of terrorism-related charges.

Terrorism-accused twins Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie are expected to state their grounds for challenging their arrest and subsequent detention today, nearly three weeks after they were arrested and charged for allegedly planning to bomb a US diplomatic mission and unspecified Jewish institutions.

They are facing three counts of terrorism-related charges. The brothers were supposed to have their bail hearing this week, but their senior council, Annelene van den Heever, was forced to challenge their arrest separately after magistrate Pieter Du Plessis told her she could not use the matter of the legality of their arrest as part of their bail application.

In detailed affidavits briefly presented to Du Plessis on Tuesday, the brothers, their mother and Tony-Lee’s wife Adeelah Alben, allege the police, who conducted a search and seizure at their respective homes earlier this month, breached the law on various occasions, even going as far as humiliating their mother, Wasiela, by trying to force her to read from the Koran.

“Insofar as the minister and Officer Olivier rely on consent, we did not voluntarily consent to the searches which were conducted in a climate of fear and intimidation and without giving us the choice to not consent. We could not consent to an unlawful search,” a section of Alben’s statement reads.

Tony-Lee also claims the police had no reasonable basis for suspicion that there would be evidence of any of the alleged offences at his and his wife’s home in Florida.

He also claims there were no reasonable grounds for the police not to obtain a warrant to search their home, which he claims was done without a warrant. Both brothers also claim they were arrested without warrants after they were forced to sign documents consenting to the search and seizure under duress.

“… Tony-Lee and I had moved out of the premises … occupied by Brandon Lee and Ms Thulsie on June 25, 2016,” reads the affidavit of Tony-Lee’s wife.

“I was questioned during my search at my home and also at the police station. I was not informed of my right to remain silent nor of my right to not be compelled to answer any questions in relation to my husband, Tony-Lee.”

The prosecution is expected to have consulted with the officers involved in the arrest ahead of the sitting today.


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