Krejcir trial-within-a-trial resumes

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IOL pic july4 Radovan Krejcir profile closeup Independent Newspapers Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir. File picture: Chris Collingridge

Johannesburg -

The trial-within-a-trial in the matter involving Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and five others in the Johannesburg High Court, sitting in Palm Ridge, will resume on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the investigating officer behind the arrests of Krejcir and his co-accused said he did not own an official police diary as required by the South African Police Service.

Captain Mashudu Freddy Ramuhala told the court the SAPS never provided him with a diary.

Ramuhala was under cross-examination by defence lawyer Annelene van den Heever for Krejcir and Desai Luphondo.

Van den Heever asked him why he did not buy one for himself.

“If I buy myself a diary, it is no longer an office diary but it's a personal diary,” he responded.

He claimed he had made no notes regarding the arrest of Krejcir and Luphondo on November 22, 2013.

“I am simply saying that the events that involve me, I cannot forget them,” he said.

“There is nowhere that I made a record of it but I can remember it.” Attempting to test his memory, Van den Heever asked him for Luphondo's address.

Ramuhala was able to give the court the correct address.

He was also able to give the court times of when the pair's arrest took place.

Ramuhala, who has 37 years experience in the police, was testifying in the trial-within-a-trial aimed at establishing whether Luphondo was pressured by police into making a confession.

The trial-within-a-trial was launched after Van den Heever objected to the confession being entered as evidence, claiming her client had been unduly influenced into making it.

Luphondo, Krejcir, Warrant Officers Samuel “Saddam” Maropeng and George Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng and Siboniso Miya are on trial for kidnapping, attempted murder and dealing in drugs.

They allegedly recruited a man known as Doctor Nkosi to help smuggle 25kg of tik (methamphetamine) to Australia.

Nkosi worked for a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport at the time he disappeared with the shipment.

Krejcir and his co-accused allegedly then kidnapped and tortured Nkosi's brother, Bheki Lukhele, in a bid to have him reveal his sibling's whereabouts.

Nkosi has also testified in the trial, confessing that he stole the drugs. - Sapa


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