'Alleged CT extortionist won't interfere with witnesses if released on bail'

Ashley Fields's lawyer Ben Mattheson says police have produced no evidence to prove he, if released on bail, will intimidate the complainants.

Picture: SAPS.

CAPE TOWN - The defence for a suspected underworld boss, accused of running a protection racket in Cape Town, has highlighted there is no evidence supporting claims he will interfere with witnesses if released on bail.

Ashley Fields, controversial businessman Nafiz Modack, Colin Booysen, who is the brother of alleged gang kingpin Jerome Booysen, and two others are applying for bail after their arrest in December.

They are accused of extorting nightclubs and restaurants and forcibly taking over security contracts from an older faction using violence.

On Friday, the lawyer for Fields is cross-examining the investigating officer.

Ben Mattheson argues police have produced no evidence to prove his client, if released on bail, will intimidate and threaten the complainants.

Mattheson adds since his arrest, Fields has not tried to destroy or conceal any evidence.

But Colonel Charl Kinnear tells the court the witnesses in the extortion case fear for their lives.

He says they believe there's a possibility that the complainants's safety could be compromised.