Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir

Pretoria - Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir’s legal woes are mounting - the latest being an order granted to Sars in terms of which the taxman will finally seize all his assets, those of his wife Katerina and of several businesses linked to them.

This is to foot Krejcir’s pending tax bill, estimated at R114 million.

In November last year, the North Gauteng High Court granted an interim preservation order, without prior notice to Krejcir, so that he could not dispose of his assets.

Krejcir, his wife and their various companies and trusts indicated they would fight the preservation order. Various deadlines were set - and extended from time to time - for them to file opposing papers.

By Thursday, when the court had to decide whether to confirm the preservation order or not, no opposing papers were forthcoming.

Counsel for Krejcir asked Judge Ephraim Makgoba to postpone the matter, saying his client did not have time to prepare the affidavit, as he had his hands full with his criminal trial in the South Gauteng High Court and his extradition hearing.

Krejcir also wanted to consult with his old friend George Smith, aka Louca, who is implicated in the murder of Teazers strip club boss Lolly Jackson. It is claimed Krejcir lent Smith R3.5 million through one of his alleged front companies.

Judge Makgoba turned down the application for a postponement. He said Krejcir had ample time to prepare his opposing affidavit.

The Czech had time to lodge an application to have parts of the Sars affidavit struck out (an application which he lost), he said.

Krejcir is embarking on delaying tactics and the court will not allow him the luxury of having this matter drag on any longer, he added.

The preservation order will remain in force until Sars has collected all due taxes. It has not yet determined exactly how much tax Krejcir owes, but Sars earlier led a tax inquiry into his companies.

Various witnesses testified, including Krejcir, his wife, son Dennis and another friend Glen Agliotti, who borrowed R500 000 from Krejcir to pay his legal fees.

Sars said it appears several of the companies were not bona fide businesses, but entities through which to launder money. It said it has reasonable grounds to conclude Krejcir used the companies as fronts through which to channel and hide income and assets to evade tax.

If he or his family remained in control of these entities, it would be near impossible for Sars to get what it was owed, it was argued.

Sars advocate Nic Maritz SC said Krejcir was convicted in the Czech Republic of fraud and other charges. He was sentenced but fled before he could serve time in jail. He painted a picture of a shady character and said the court should bear this in mind when deciding whether he’d comply with his tax obligations.

Following the refusal of the court to postpone the matter, Krejcir’s lawyers withdrew and the matter was not opposed further.

* State witness Paul Mthabela took the stand in the kidnap trial of Krejcir and five others in the South Gauteng High Court on Thursday. He was testifying in exchange for possible immunity from prosecution.

Pretoria News