Krejcir’s lawyer tears into witness

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iol news pic Krejcir 24feb court SAPA Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir File picture: Werner Beukes

Johannesburg - The lawyer of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir on Wednesday attempted to discredit the man who claimed to have been kidnapped, assaulted and tortured by Krejcir and five others.

Annelene van den Heever pointed out differences between the witness's statement to the police and his evidence-in-chief in court.

Van den Heever said Bheki Lukhele had told the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court, his captors had slapped him.

According to his statement however he was slapped, punched, and kicked.

Lukhele said he had explained his assault to the police officer.

“It was not in his control as to how the statement was captured,” he said.

“You're accusing the investigating officer of writing down words you did not say,” Van den Heever said.

Lukhele told the court his captors forced him to call his brother Doctor and that they spoke to him over the phone. This was not in his statement.

Continuing with her cross-examination, Van den Heever said Lukhele told the police he was pulled from his Katlehong house and bundled into a BMW.

“But yesterday, you said you were outside in the yard,” she said.

Lukhele again blamed this difference on the police officer who took the statement.

The soft-spoken, Zulu-speaking witness had submitted three statements to the police.

He testified on Tuesday that he could not recall making the third statement, although it bore his signature.

Lukhele was testifying in the trial of Krejcir, Desai Luphondo, warrant officers Samuel Modise Maropeng and George Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng, and Siboniso Miya.

They are charged with kidnapping and assaulting Lukhele, allegedly to have him to reveal Doctor's whereabouts, after he allegedly disappeared with 25kg of crystal methamphetamine (tik).

Doctor worked for a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport and had been tasked with transporting the drug to Australia, allegedly for Krejcir.

The trial is expected to run until May 30. - Sapa

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