Johannesburg - Three large media groups appealed to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on Tuesday for permission to attend the Refugees Appeal Board hearing regarding the future status of controversial Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir, Beeld reported on Monday.

The media groups are Media24, Mail & Guardian Media and Independent Newspapers.

Krejcir was found guilty in Prague in 2012 of fraud, kidnapping and money-laundering involving R227 million.

Krejcir’s application for asylum in South Africa was initially turned down and he subsequently appealed against this decision.

The board refused the media access to the appeal hearing, stating that the Refugees Act and rules imposed secrecy during appeal hearings.

Dario Milo, on behalf of all three media groups, said in his court documents that the Constitutional Court needed to decide whether it was constitutional to place a blanket ban on public refugee hearings in the light of the Bill of Rights as contained in the Constitution. - Sapa