AGE OF THE ASSASSIN
Kinnear killing: Zane Kilian to appeal against denial of bail
Immediately after Zane Kilian was denied bail in the Bellville Regional Court on Thursday, his defence team told the court they would lodge an urgent appeal at the Western Cape High Court.
In her judgment denying Zane Killian bail on Thursday, magistrate Nonkosi Saba said the debt collector and former rugby player was a dishonest person, and by interfering with state witness Bradley Goldblatt had shown he could interfere with other witnesses. Saba also stressed the State had a prima facie case against the man accused of murder.
Eric Bryer, a lawyer for Kilian, said notice to appeal against the judgment would be filed on Friday and the appeal at the Western Cape High Court would be filed within a month. National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila indicated that the NPA would oppose this application.
Goldblatt, in an affidavit to the court, said that on 20 September 2020 Kilian had contacted him at about 9.30am. Kilian told him there was trouble and instructed Goldblatt to delete him from the LAD and Marist system, read the affidavit.
The decision to deny Kilian bail on Thursday came six months after Anti-Gang Unit Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear was assassinated in front of his house in Gearing Street, Bishop Lavis, on Friday 18 September 2020.
The State has argued that Kilian, who pinged the deceased’s phone 2,408 times and thereby provided the shooter with Kinnear’s location, played a pivotal role in the murder plot.
Reading out her judgment, Saba said: “The accused failed to provide evidence which satisfies the court that exceptional circumstances exist to justify his release on bail. The community of Bishop Lavis petitioned against his release and it would therefore not be in the interest of justice to release the accused on bail.”
During the heads of argument, Kilian’s advocate Marius Botha contended that his client’s family was suffering financially, that his autistic son had suffered a breakdown and the health of his father, Hein, had deteriorated as a result of the incarceration. Saba highlighted in her judgment that the accused failed to put evidence or medical reports before court to substantiate his claims.
Shortly after the ruling, Hein Kilian walked up to the dock and tried to talk to his son. After an emotional hug between father and son, the court orderly told Kilian senior he could not communicate with his son.
After the proceedings, Ntabazalila confirmed that the defence had indicated an intention to file for an urgent bail appeal at the Western Cape High Court.
“The NPA [is] satisfied with the outcome and it is a step towards justice for the Kinnear family. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done, so investigations still continue.
“The basis on which bail was denied was because it is a schedule 6 case and the NPA tried to show the onus was on the defence to show that the accused deserved to be given bail, which they dismally failed to do,” Ntabazalila said.
“The NPA opposed that [defence] argument on the basis that there was no evidence placed before court that proves exceptional circumstances exist. There was no report tabled showing the suffering of his son. A report tabled in court was two years old, 2018, and that report itself said his son was functioning.
“There was no medical certificate which shows there was an impact of him being incarcerated on his father’s situation, as well as no psychological report on how his incarceration affected his children and wife. The defence were just asking the court to go with sympathy, there was nothing tangible put before the court.”
Touching on when the indictment would be ready, Ntabazalila said the NPA did not yet have a charge sheet, but the indictment would be ready when the matter came before the Western Cape High Court.
The judgment handed down in the Bellville Regional Court is mutatis mutandis in the William Booth matter, in which Kilian is one of five accused facing charges relating to a failed attempt on the life of Booth on 9 April 2020, Ntabazalila said. Kilian’s bail application in the Booth matter in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court will, therefore, not be heard.
Bryer commented that the defence found it hard to believe the magistrate had ruled that the State’s case was based on circumstantial evidence but, at the same time, indicated the State had a prima facie case.
Kinnear’s widow Nicolette said: “We have been waiting for this day a very long time and I think emotions have been high. For us as a family we know this is not a sprint, it is definitely a marathon. Today was but the first hurdle but we are thankful and happy with the outcome.”
Commenting on the fact that no other arrests, besides that of Kilian, had been made in connection with her husband’s death, she reiterated that the family had taken a stance to not speak about progress in the investigation.
“All I can just say is that there is hard work done behind the scenes. In my opinion, everybody that has played a role in the assassination, each one is as guilty. It is not a small or big one,” she said.
The family has yet to pack away any of her late husband’s possessions.
“We are not ready. I don’t know if we will ever be ready to say goodbye, but we are living with this massive gaping void in our lives and each one of us is trying to fill it in his way,” the widow said.
The matter has been postponed for further investigations. Kilian is due back in court on 15 April. MC/DM
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