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Verulam attacks: Investigating officer accused of compromising crucial evidence

The court has heard that the authorities have not been able to conclusively link the first accused Farhad Hoomer to the incendiary device found while searching the home.

A mosque in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal, has been attacked by a group of men on 10 May 2018. Picture: Reaction Unit South Africa Facebook page.

DURBAN – The Verulam Family Court has heard how the investigating officer has compromised crucial evidence in the case against 11 men accused of links to terror group Islamic State, with claims of access to photographs ahead of an identity parade.

The men have been in custody for three weeks now after being arrested at a house in Reservoir Hills.

They were taken in in connection with the planting of bombs at several shopping centres in Durban and the deadly mosque attack in Verulam earlier this year.

Defence lawyer Jimmy House is representing the first accused Farhad Hoomer who was thought to be the ringleader in the crimes and owner of the house believed to have served as a training camp for suspected Islamic State members.

But it’s since emerged that the investigating officer did not do a title deed check which would have shown who the actual owner was.

The court also heard that the authorities have not been able to conclusively link Hoomer to the incendiary device found while searching the home.

His lawyer argued that the only link to his client was his late wife’s cell phone whose number was used for extortion attempts.

Responding arguments will continue next Tuesday and Wednesday.