Krejcir faces Christmas behind bars

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SAPA

Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir appears in the Palm Ridge Regional Court. Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Johannesburg - Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir’s history of falsifying passports, committing fraud and absconding from prison and his country of birth has come back to haunt him.

These alleged misdemeanours, along with his inclination to intimidate witnesses, appear to have thwarted his bid for freedom on Friday.

The Germiston Regional Court, sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court, turned down his bail application.

Krejcir and his co-accused, Desai Luphondo and Hawks members Samule Modise “Saddam” Maruping and Machache George Jeff Nthoroane, face charges of kidnapping, assault and attempted murder.

In June, they allegedly kidnapped and assaulted a man whose brother disappeared with a 25kg shipment of tik he had been recruited to help smuggle through OR Tambo International Airport. They deny all charges against them.

Barring a miracle that he wins on appeal, on Friday’s ruling means Krejcir could spend Christmas and almost the entire of January behind bars.

“It’s ridiculous,” he brusquely replied, when asked for comment by the media.

It was at 11.25am – about 10 minutes after magistrate Reginald Dama delivered the bitter verdict – and by then, Krejcir’s wife, whose striking beauty sparkled in the packed courtroom, was nowhere to be seen, having sneaked out quietly.

Handing down his verdict, Dama referred extensively to “damning evidence” from an affidavit by one Johann von Loggenberg. The affidavit revealed some of Krejcir’s alleged dodgy and fraudulent business dealings in South Africa and Czechoslovakia, including owing a huge debt to SARS in unpaid tax and orchestrating the abduction of a Czech businessman.

Krejcir was sentenced for most of these crimes, but he absconded before serving his jail term. The court heard that he had in 2005, with the help of a group of his friends, falsified a passport fled to South Africa.

Meanwhile, Luphondo was released on R10 000 bail, while Maruping and Nthoroane had theirs fixed at R5 000 each.

The case was postponed to January 24 for further investigation.

Saturday Star


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