Robert had gone to Mozambique, following leads given to him by Vusi Mbatha, in order to verify this information which related to illegal gun running from Mozambique to South Africa. He felt that given Vusi's background, these allegations may be wild and unsubstantiated - his intention was therefore to establish the truth or otherwise of the allegations and hand over this information to the authorities in both countries.
Robert now faces three charges : Espionage; Gun Running and Conspiring with Wrongdoers - the "wrongdoers" in this case being "armed dissident groupings and terrorists wishing to overthrow the South African Government". He is therefore accused simultaneously of spying on behalf of the South African Government while running guns to those trying to overthrow the selfsame government. The Judge who decided to press charges reported two weeks ago that he was receiving threatening phone calls from men speaking in Afrikaans - "keep McBride in jail or else". The Judge has not recused himself.
Robert's options right now are limited - he can go to trial with the same Judge (Carlos Caetano) or appeal to the Supreme Court against the decision to press charges. He has chosen the second option - despite the fact that this could take a long time, as he feels that the Supreme Court Judges may apply their minds to the case on the basis of evidence (or lack thereof) and law. The problem with this option, apart from the length of time he still has to remain in prison, is cost. Our Mozambican lawyer has informed us that costs may reach as high as US$ 50,000.00. The South African government has refused to assist with legal costs, despite a tacit recognition that Robert was set up by elements from the old order still in the employ of the state.
We therefore need to raise funds as a matter of urgency and if there is
any small way in which you can help this would be appreciated. An attorney
in Johannesburg who has been assisting us (free of charge) has a Trust
Account which we can use as this is fully audited and regulated. The
details are as follows :
JOSE NASCIMENTO TRUST ACCOUNT
Rosettenville Branch - JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Account number: 1912097656.
From: Editions Democrite
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