Durban PI refutes torture allegations of Siam Lee murder accused
Private investigator Brad Nathanson has poured cold water on allegations of torture‚ evidence tampering and the unlawful arrest of a man alleged to have kidnapped and murdered Durban escort Siam Lee.
The 29-year-old businessman‚ who is facing a raft of charges including rape‚ cannot yet be named.
After more than a month in custody‚ the state’s prime suspect applied for bail in the Durban Regional Court on Wednesday.
The man‚ who faces sixteen charges relating to the murder of Lee as well as his alleged interactions with two other women‚ spent the lion’s share of his time in the witness box sledging Nathanson‚ who along with his team had affected his arrest.
Advocate Martin Krog‚ acting for the suspect‚ described the investigation by prominent Durban private investigator Brad Nathanson as “capture”.
At the commencement of proceedings‚ Krog had made an application to bar Nathanson and his staff from listening in to his client's evidence on the basis that they may‚ he stated‚ tailor their evidence during the trial.
The accused's testimony hinged on allegations that he had been brutally tortured at the hands of Nathanson‚ his staff and the police. Furthermore‚ he alleged that the PI had tampered with evidence‚ broken into his home and searched it without a warrant.
But Nathanson hit back on Thursday‚ saying that the assertions were “spurious”.
“Deflection is the oldest and most well-used defence in the history of justice. These spurious allegations made by the accused arrived for the first time some three weeks post his arrest on February 17.”
“This is nothing more than the accused trying to move the spotlight off himself. Everything that goes on in the dark will eventually come out in the light‚” Nathanson said.
He said that he had anticipated the suspect’s tactics. “First he said he was beaten in the cells randomly at SAPS Durban North. And now it seems that I am the focus of his attention as he is mine.”
“I’m not yet privy to all of the allegations made by the accused. So it would be foolish of me to respond to only those I have had to hear about third-hand. Today [Thursday] will be an interesting day for the state‚” he added.
The state is expected to cross-examine the suspect on his evidence in chief on Thursday