Bioterrorism trial postponed

The terrorism trial of a man accused of threatening to attack the United Kingdom and the United States with a biological weapon has been postponed until May, according to the Alexandra Magistrates’ Court in Alexandra, South Africa.

Brian Roach, a 64-year-old engineering company owner, allegedly sent threatening emails and letters that demanded $4 million. The letters alleged that if he did not receive the money, he would release foot and mouth disease within the U.K.

"The case was postponed...for police to continue with investigations and upon completion the accused must make written representations to the National Director of Public Prosecutions," National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said, according to “We expect it to be completed by then.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also reportedly conducting investigations within South Africa.

According to court papers, Roach made the threats to obtain compensation for losses incurred by the farming community in Zimbabwe. Many white Zimbabwean farmers were forced to give up their land in 2000 under a mandate by that nation’s president, Robert Mugabe.

Roach apparently felt let down by a brokered settlement made by the United States and the United Kingdom with Mugabe and by their failure to act against him, reports.

"We are not habitual criminals, but have been victim of a situation which was entirely out of our control and attributed to corrupt and incompetent politicians,” Roach claimed in a email, according to

Roach, a South African, was arrested after a six month investigation by South African, British and American authorities. An examination of Roach’s residence and other locations turned up no evidence that he was capable of releasing the disease.