Krejcir fights back in court

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Radovan Krejcir File picture: Antoine de Ras

Johannesburg -

In another bid for freedom, Radovan Krejcir has tried to have large portions of the South African Revenue Service preservation order seizing his assets deemed inadmissible in court.

The unorthodox strategy emerged on Monday during Krejcir’s fourth application for bail since his arrest in November last year.

The surprise application saw Krejcir’s lawyer, Annelene van den Heever, try to dismiss certain sections of the affidavit by Johann van Loggerenberg, the Sars group executive in charge of enforcement investigations.

 

This document was the founding affidavit of the preservation order that allowed Sars to seize all of Krejcir’s assets.

It also was a “damning” piece of evidence used by the magistrates and judges who ruled on Krejcir’s previous failed bail applications.

The Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court was also told that a striking-out application to have this document deemed inadmissible was going to be made at the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday.

On Monday, Van den Heever pointed out numerous factual errors and opinions in the affidavit regarding Krejcir’s escape from the Czech Republic and his arrival in South Africa, and said these inconsistencies had brought the accuracy of the document into question.

She also said Van Loggerenberg was clearly biased and relied on hearsay evidence. The legality of certain sections of the affidavit being revealed to the public was also questioned.

Krejcir is currently applying for refugee status in South Africa following alleged persecution in the Czech Republic, but details of these proceedings have not being made public.

Van Loggerenberg’s report showed that the asylum application was handed over to Sars, which Van den Heever argued was illegal.

The fact that Krejcir’s finances had been disclosed in open court - and Van Loggerenberg’s report - is also supposedly in violation of the Tax Administration Act.

The Czech businessman’s failure to tell the court about his former convictions in the Czech Republic during his bail application was yet another reason why the previous bail applications were denied.

Van den Heever argued on Monday that Krejcir had received poor advice from his previous attorneys about not revealing these convictions.

She also argued that Krejcir had no valid passport documents in his possession and was not willing to abandon his assets worth R40 million in South Africa, meaning he was not a flight risk. State prosecutor Louis Mashiane looked annoyed at the new application, saying the defence had failed to bring in any new information.

Mashiane said questioning Van Loggerenberg’s report now could not constitute new facts and Krejcir’s team was trying “to take a second bite of the cherry”.

He said it was known that Krejcir had several identity documents, and that his wife Katerina and son Denis also had multiple identity documents.

 

Mashiane also insisted that Krejcir had fled two countries, fleeing from what he said was a paltry six-year conviction.

He also said Krejcir was “super rich” in the Seychelles and the Czech Republic.

Mashiane also proved through previous bail transcripts that Krejcir was aware that he was obliged to disclose all prior convictions.

Judge Natvarlal Ranchod reserved judgment.

 

Krejcir and three other men allegedly kidnapped and assaulted a man whose brother disappeared with a shipment of tik he was meant to smuggle through OR Tambo International Airport.

 

At his last bail bid, Radovan Krejcir told the court that his wife, Katerina Krejcirova, had to rely on his mother’s financial support while he was in custody.

“If I do not stay in this country and fight for what is rightfully ours, we will lose everything we have built over many years and be left destitute,” Krejcir stated.

His lawyers told the court that evidence from a Sars investigator used by the State to oppose bail at a previous application was “irregular”.

Krejcir claimed that these details in the Sars affidavit should have remained confidential as per the Tax Administration Act.

At another bail application, he failed to convince the court he was not a flight risk. His legal team argued that he was no longer in possession of a passport, meaning he was unlikely to flee.

Krejcir’s wife and son Denis were also arrested in February in connection with a fraud scheme and stolen car charges in the Vaal region.

shain.germaner@inl.co.za

The Star


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