Zane Kilian to plead not guilty to murdering detective Charl Kinnear
The man accused of murdering anti-gang unit detective Lt-Col Charl Kinnear will have to wait until Tuesday for his bail application to be considered after his lawyers handed his affidavit to the prosecution.
Zane Kilian's attorney, Eric Bryer, told reporters outside the Bellville magistrate's court on Friday that his client will plead not guilty to all charges.
The Springs, Gauteng, private investigator is charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful interception of communication and fraud.
According to the state, he “pinged” Kinnear’s cellphones to establish the police officer's location between March and September 18, the day Kinnear was shot dead outside his home in Bishop Lavis, Cape Town.
In October, Kilian was added to a list of suspects arrested in connection with an attempted hit on prominent Cape Town criminal lawyer William Booth.
The former Valke rugby player handed in his affidavit for the state to consider on Friday.
Bryer said the affidavit made certain allegations, but the document was not public as it will be officially submitted to the court when Kilian appears again on Tuesday.
“I can tell you today we handed in an affidavit and the court was quite congenial about it. They accepted the affidavit and asked for an adjournment to consider the facts of the affidavit so they can oppose instead of wasting time,” said Bryer.
“They responded with their affidavit, and on Tuesday they will respond to all the allegations we’ve made in our affidavit. Hopefully we’ll be able to finalise the matter expeditiously on Tuesday.”
Brier said Kilian was “depressed as can be”, having spent 66 days in prison awaiting a formal bail application.
“Unfortunately those are the wheels of justice. Hopefully they are moving and are not stationary so we can get an outcome as soon as possible,” said Bryer.
He alleged that Kilian’s bail affidavit had already been leaked to the media.
“Some of the people outside here have made comments about it. I don’t know how it was leaked to you, but you’ve got it and you’ve seen the grounds for his application.”
'Pinging isn't pulling the trigger'
Bryer said the gist of the affidavit is that Kilian is a “pinger” and not a shooter.
“Pinging somebody isn’t pulling the trigger. From that point of view, since this case has happened the whole pinging world has been exposed,” he said.
“I was in Johannesburg with the police head of province and with the investigating officer of the Dr [Abdulhay] Munshi case and the one platform alone has had more than 500,000 pings.
“They haven’t disclosed who did the pinging. There are a multitude of users so it’s very suspicious that the police were able to say Zane pinged Kinnear 2,200 times. After two months they still haven’t come up with the balance of the pinging.
“There are definitely plenty of pingers out there and he certainly is not responsible for every death in SA. What I also find significant is that he only got onto the platform in February this year. The media are trying to hold him guilty for previous murders prior to February this year.”
Kilian allegedly also pinged Booth’s cellphone, among others, including that of alleged underworld boss Jerome “Donkie” Booysen.
Bryer told TimesLIVE that an attempt was being made to connect Kilian to alleged underworld boss Nafiz Modack’s network.
On March 5, Modack wrote on his Facebook page that all Johannesburg debt collections were to be done through Kilian.
After Kinnear’s murder, Modack told the Sunday Times that although Kilian collected debts on his behalf, “there's no relationship with him. I wouldn't say we had a business relationship. We made two or three deals only”.
However, Bryer alleged Modack was also pinged several times by Kilian on behalf of other clients.
Bryer said that on the day of Kinnear's shooting, the gunman seen on CCTV footage from Kinnear’s home was in the vicinity for at least six hours. He said this emerged in CCTV footage from a nearby shop.
“I looked through the footage and not once did he go onto his cellphone or pick up his cellphone to his ear to receive information about where his target was,” said Bryer.
“Kinnear lived in the same house for more than 20 years. It wouldn’t have been difficult to find him.”
Questions still remain about who was responsible for arranging protection for Kinnear following alleged threats to his life, including an alleged plot to bomb his house using a hand grenade on November 23 last year.
Kinnear’s concerns about his safety, however, developed as early as September 17 last year, when he asked a private investigator from Port Elizabeth to ping his phone because he believed it had been cloned.
The detective allegedly used the investigator’s pinging service to track suspects in a massive investigation into an alleged corrupt police network in the central firearms registry.
Kinnear asked the investigator to ping his own phone as he suspected his phone was “cloned by one of our security agencies” using a Samsung Galaxy S5.
He ended his request with: “I had enough of this f****rs now”.
Sources said Kinnear’s protection was provided on an informal basis by anti-gang unit members from detective team C, which he commanded, and that detectives would often sleep at his home. Uniformed officers were stationed outside the residence until they were withdrawn.