Krejcir-linked Serero to change prisons

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IOL pic dec4 court krejcir bail application Sapa Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir appears in the Palm Ridge Regional Court. File photo: Werner Beukes

Johannesburg - Owen Serero was found in possession of five cellphones and two hacksaws while in custody, the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court heard on Monday.

Serero is allegedly linked to the attempted murder of investigators in the case against Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir.

“While Mr Serero was in prison his cell was searched; five cellphones and two hacksaws were found in his possession,” investigating officer Sifiso Xulu told the court.

He said prison warders had searched his cell and they confirmed that the cellphones and hacksaws were Serero's.

Prosecutor Penny Pillay asked the court to allow Serero to be moved from the Johannesburg Central Prison to Pretoria Central Prison.

This was because Xulu said it was difficult to get hold of Serero while detained in Johannesburg because they did not have access to the facility.

“We are not able to find him when we need him for investigations. In Pretoria we will easily find him,” Xulu told the court.

He said they were unable to find him last week when he did not answer to his name when it was called out for his court appearance.

“He did not answer when his name was called to come to court and we were unable to find him.”

Tshega Ntaki, for Serero, dismissed allegations that his client refused to come to court.

He told the court after a few words with Serero that he was never called at all.

Ntaki also told the court his client was denied visitors.

“He is concerned that his mother was turned away when he wanted to see him.”

In response, Xulu said if Serero's family wanted to see him they could see him, but not just anyone could.

He suggested that the defence provide a list of close family members who would want to visit him, because he was a high risk of escaping from custody.

Magistrate Simon Radasi ruled that Serero be held in Pretoria and that his close family members be allowed to visit him.

The matter was then postponed to March 31 for further investigation.

Dressed in a white formal jacket and jeans, Serero appeared under heavy police guard.

His parents were in court and complained to Ntaki that they did not hear anything during proceedings because they were sitting at the back.

Ntaki promised to explain everything to them later on.

Serero faces three charges of robbery, two of possession of illegal firearms and ammunition, three of motor vehicle theft, one contravening traffic laws, one of interfering with an investigation, and one of escaping from custody.

He is also part of a group of people arrested in connection with the alleged attempted murder of the investigators in Krejcir's case.

Sapa



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