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Cape Town - A lawyer and 29 others appeared in the Western Cape High Court on Friday on charges relating to a perlemoen (abalone) syndicate.
Anthony Broadway, dressed in a dark suit and tie, looked uncomfortable as he sat in the dock with his casually dressed co-accused for a pre-trial conference.
He had represented many of them in the case before his arrest on Tuesday.
His legal representative Johnny Nortje told the court the police searched Broadway's practice in Bellville and seized computers, files containing privileged information relating to the case and other cases, and his cellphone.
“In effect, your Lordship, his practice was closed down,” he told Judge Robert Henney.
Nortje said he planned to launch a review application by next Friday to set aside the search warrant, on the basis of “ulterior motives and malice, which forms the basis of the prosecution”.
He said the search and seizure matter would, in all likelihood, go to the Constitutional Court as he questioned a situation where the State could access privileged information about the case in such a manner.
Nortje claimed the search warrant did not specify which items would be seized, there was no affidavit in support of the arrest warrant and he had not received a charge sheet.
Henney postponed the matter until April 12 to allow the State and defence “to report on what is going to happen”.
The group face 534 charges, including illegal possession of perlemoen, racketeering and corruption.
Chinese national Ran Wei, who allegedly funded and ran the syndicate, is still missing.