Highway PI team barred from #SiamLee court case

Carmen Nan Lee (centre) was supported at the bail hearing by friend, Sue Foster, and Shaun Brits of Brad Nathanson Investigations.

AFTER 40 days in police custody the suspect in the Siam Lee murder investigation took to the witness stand at the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for his official bail application.

In addition to assuring Magistrate Mohamed Motala that he had no plans of absconding, should he be granted bail, the accused, dressed a stylish grey suit, also declared that he stood by the allegations he made last month – that he was assaulted and tortured after his arrest.

Highway private investigator, Brad Nathanson and his team, who arrested the Assagay resident at his home in January, were ‘provisionally’ barred from the court case after advocate Martin Krog hurled a slew of accusations against Nathanson.

“It is important that we ensure that the sanctity of this case is not tainted. Anyone associated with Nathanson’s office or who might be witnesses to the case need to sit outside‚” Motala said.

Krog claimed his client was arrested in the absence of police, that his house was illegally searched and that that photos of the 29-year-old were leaked onto Nathanson’s Facebook page before he had pleaded.

ALSO READ: Local PI shares grim findings in Siam Lee case

One of the photos presented in court was allegedly taken off of the suspect’s cell phone. He claims he was beaten until he revealed the password to Nathanson and his team.

The suspect also told the court he had asked for an opportunity to contact his attorney three times but was repeatedly denied that right.

“I am deeply troubled and upset by this,” he said. 

He previously claimed he was repeated beaten, suffocated with a plastic evidence bag and coerced to confess to Lee’s murder.

The self-proclaimed businessman faces a total of 16 charges including kidnapping rape, murder, fraud rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances, pointing a firearm, assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, intimidation, two charges of crimen injuria as well as a second case of kidnapping.

He cannot be named because of the rape charge.

ALSO READ: #SiamLee accused blows kisses in court as state adds additional charges

Lee disappeared on January 4 on Margaret Maytom in Durban North, and her burned body was discovered in a sugarcane field in New Hanover two days later.

Siam Lee was laid to rest at a private gathering at Stellawood Cemetery in Umbilo last Friday.

A memorial service was held for Lee, at a private gathering at Stellawood Cemetery in Umbilo last Friday after KZN police confirmed that the charred body found in New Hanover more than a month ago was that of Lee.

Gasps of outrage echoed from the family and friends of Lee seated in the gallery as the suspect announced that he intended to plead not guilty.

“I have a 14-year-old brother, whose school fees I have primarily been responsible for the last five years. My mother does not have an income and I fear that he will have a problem completing his schooling,” he said.

He added that while he has been in custody the production at his factories have been stagnant.

“I will not abscond. I wish to stay and fight and to clear my name so that I stay and operate as normal – before this chaos started,” he said.

He offered pay a R10 000 bail, and the state is expected to question the accused tomorrow.



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Mariclair Smit

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