State eyes new Krejcir witnesses

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

Johannesburg - The trial of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and five others was postponed by the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, on Thursday.

The State asked for time to consult new witnesses pointed out by one of the accused, Desai Luphondo.

Luphondo and his legal team listed members of the police tactical response team who were in court and said they were also present when he was arrested and a statement taken from him.

“A number of members offering protection have been identified as possible witnesses. I therefore request a postponement,” prosecutor Louis Mashiane told the court.

“I need to consult with identified witnesses and I will have to consult with the investigating officer on others.”

Mashiane said he needed Friday and Saturday to consult all the witnesses.

Luphondo's lawyers objected to the postponement. Annelene van den Heever, for Krejcir and Luphondo, told the court the State knew about the witnesses and that they would be called.

“He cannot say he did not know that Colonel Ximba would be a witness,” she said.

Van den Heever said the postponements were costing her clients much money.

Judge Colin Lamont granted the postponement. He said the matter raised would require a change in security at the court. This would take time to do and the prosecution would need time to consult.

“I'm ruling that this matter stands down until Monday,” he said.

Krejcir, Luphondo, Warrant Officers Samuel “Saddam” Maropeng and George Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng, and Siboniso Miya face charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, and dealing in drugs. All have denied guilt.

Sapa



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