The South Gauteng High Court, Joburg, heard on Wednesday that the defence team for Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie was now seeking hard copies of the documents the State had obtained for its case.
Adele Barnard, the State’s prosecutor, told the court the defence team had raised issues about the digital material they had been given.
“Although previously we agreed that copies, due to the volume of the evidence, would be given to them in a digital form, the defence indicated this morning (Wednesday) that they now require that all the documents be printed in hard copy for purposes of consultation,” said Barnard.
“Now, I indicated that the previous quotation the State obtained - and that was while still in the regional court for bail application proceedings - amounted to around R77 000.
“I explained that I need to follow due process if they persist that the State must give them that evidence (in hard copy),” Barnard said.
Wednesday's proceedings before Judge Raylene Keightley made it apparent that the Thulsie twins’ trial was far from beginning.
Arrested during raids in Newclare and Azaadville, on the West Rand, in July 2016 and subsequently denied bail, Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee were attending pre-trial proceedings.
They seemed to be in good spirits, smiling and exchanging greetings with relatives and friends in the court’s gallery.
Police nabbed the two after intercepting data allegedly linking them to Islamic State. They allegedly conspired to bomb the US embassy and Jewish institutions in South Africa.
Affluent Jewish people were also allegedly on their radar, and so was cartoonist Zapiro and an unidentified gay imam.
Bilal Bodhania, a defence lawyer, confirmed that his team sought hard copies of the State’s evidence.
He said this was because they were unable to open some of the folders on the hard drive that the State gave them.
“We are just trying to get to a stage where we can have all other information to prepare,” Bodhania said.
“We cannot access many of those documents (on the hard drive) to take instructions for further particulars. What the State is saying at this stage is that here’s 20 000 images. We don’t know what they are going to use. It goes to the preparation of the accused, but also the smooth running of the trial,” Bodhania said.
Judge Keightley urged the parties to sit down with the State’s computer expert witness and resolve the documents stand-off.
“I’m certainly not going to order the State, at this stage, to print everything out,” she said.
The matter was postponed to January 31 2019.@BonganiNkosi87