Johannesburg - Czech businessman Radovan Krejcir will be hospitalised after the High Court in Johannesburg granted an urgent application from his lawyers seeking his removal from jail.
Before the high court ruling, Krejcir appeared briefly in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court with another man, Desai Lupondo, on Monday. Proceedings were held in camera for security reasons.
Krejcir was arrested on Friday on an initial charge of assault to cause grievous bodily harm.
National police commissioner Riah Phiyega said on Saturday that given the severity of the assault, the charge would be changed to attempted murder. The charges relate to an alleged assault in June.
Outside the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Phindi Louw could not say what charges Krejcir and Lupondo faced, as these had not been formally presented in court.
The matter was postponed to next Monday for a bail application. Journalists were warned to apply for accreditation with the NPA if they wanted to attend.
Before the security measures were announced, reporters were moved from one court room on the third floor to another on the ground floor, before being asked to leave the court room.
Heavily armed police then asked the media to stand well back, before ordering them to leave the building. Other court cases were disrupted as the first floor was cleared.
Louw said she could not disclose any information about the security concerns and would not indicate whether the precautions were in response to a particular threat.
Krejcir's lawyers submitted an urgent application to have him moved from prison to hospital amid claims that he was assaulted and “tasered” following his arrest.
The High Court in Johannesburg sat until shortly before 1am on Monday, before Judge Ramarumo Monama reserved his judgment until 11am.
Monama heard testimony from Krejcir's doctor, a state doctor, and a police officer.
Krejcir's doctor, who cannot be named for security reasons, argued that Krejcir could suffer renal failure if he did not receive medical attention.
The doctor said Krejcir's injuries were consistent with those of someone who been assaulted. The state doctor said he noticed injuries on Krejcir's wrists that could have been caused by handcuffs.
When court resumed at daylight on Monday Monama found that Krejcir's doctor was a reliable witness. Monama said the doctor had found Krejcir had multiple cuts, and that his hands were swollen and had burns.
He also found that the approach taken by the State in the case was unfortunate as “they concentrated mostly on the peripheral issues”.
The application was not to determine whether Krejcir was assaulted, but rather to decide on whether he should be transferred to a medical facility.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate said earlier it was investigating Krejcir's assault claims.
The respondents, the minister of police and others, were ordered to pay the costs of the application.
Krejcir's attorney Ulrich Roux said the defence team would see that Krejcir was admitted to a hospital immediately.
The Czech fugitive arrived in South Africa in 2007 and was detained for a month after allegedly using a forged passport.
Krejcir's associates Uwe Gemballa and Teazers owner Lolly Jackson, with whom Krejcir was allegedly involved in a money-laundering operation, were both killed in 2010.
In March 2011, Krejcir's security consultant Cyril Beeka was killed in a drive-by shooting. A hit list allegedly found in Krejcir's home contained names including Beeka and security consultant Paul O'Sullivan.
In October this year, Bassam Issa, reportedly an associate of Krejcir's, was shot dead. In November a Serbian man, Veselin Langanin, who was arrested with Krejcir for armed robbery, was also shot dead.
In October 2012 the armed robbery charges against Krejcir were withdrawn.
In his home country in December last year, Krejcir was sentenced in absentia to 11 years in jail for money-laundering.
Also last year, Krejcir was arrested for fraud related to a R4.5 million insurance claim, allegedly made using medical papers stating he had bladder cancer. The charges were withdrawn.
This year Krejcir survived a number of alleged attempts on his life. In July his car was shot at and his former employee Brendan Harrison was arrested for plotting to kill him.
On November 12, two people were killed in a bomb blast at Krejcir's pawn broking business in Bedfordview, Johannesburg.
Krejcir's extradition hearing was set to resume on December 6.
June - A Czech Republic court issues an international arrest warrant for billionaire businessman Radovan Krejcir after he escapes from custody. Krejcir flees to the Seychelles.
January - Czech authorities make a request to the Seychelles for his extradition.
- Krecjir acquires citizenship in the Seychelles and relinquishes his Czech citizenship.
February - Krecjir leaves the Seychelles before a decision is made on his extradition
March - Krejcir is charged in Prague for allegedly organising the abduction of businessman Jakub Konecny who was allegedly forced to sign promissory notes and tax documents. He was later convicted of blackmail and depriving a person of his liberty. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.
April - Krejcir arrives in South Africa. He is arrested at OR Tambo International Airport after allegedly using a fake passport. He spends a month in jail.
- The crime involving Konecny was overturned on appeal in a municipal court in Prague and referred to a lower court. The crime was reclassified to attempted blackmail, and it imposed a sentence of six-and-a-half-years imprisonment. Krejcir has not yet served the prison term.
- Krejcir was convicted on a charge of fraud relating to shares in the Czech Republic. He was sentenced to six-and-a-half years imprisonment, which was later reduced on appeal.
February - Krejcir's associate Uwe Gemballa disappears
May - Teazers boss Lolly Jackson is killed. Krejcir and he were allegedly involved in a money-laundering operation.
October - Gemballa found shot dead.
March 22 - Krecjir's security consultant Cyril Beeka is shot dead in a drive-by shooting.
March 23 - A hit list is found in Krejcir's house. It included the names of Beeka, security consultant Paul O'Sullivan, and a state prosecutor.
September 20 - Jackson's lawyer Ian Jordaan is murdered and his body found in a burnt car. Later in September, Jackson's business associate Mark Andrews is killed. Krecjir and Andrews allegedly had claims against Jackson's estate.
February - Krecjir arrested for fraud related to a R4.5 million claim he made to an insurance company, allegedly using medical papers stating he had cancer so he could be paid out. His urologist Marian Tupy previously admitted to falsifying insurance documents so Krejcir could be paid out.
April - Fraud charges against Krejcir withdrawn.
July - Occupants in a car open fire on Krejcir's car. Krejcir survives.
August - Krejcir's former employee Brendan Harrison is arrested for plotting to kill him.
October - Bassam Issa is shot dead near his home in Bedfordview. According to media reports, he was allegedly Krejcir's associate.
November 2 - Serbian man Veselin Langanin, who was arrested for armed robbery last year with Krejcir, is shot dead in his Bedfordview home.
November 12 - There is a bomb blast at Krejcir's business in Bedfordview, and two people are killed.
November 22 - Krejcir is arrested on charges of attempted murder and kidnapping. He opens a case of assault against police.
November 25 - The High Court in Johannesburg rules that Krejcir should be moved to a medical facility following testimony from a doctor who says Krejcir's injuries were consistent with assault.