Johannesburg - Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and his five co-accused are set to appeal their convictions, as well as their sentences, in the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday.
Judge Colin Lamont sentenced Krejcir and co-accused Desai Luphondo to 35 years imprisonment on Tuesday on charges of kidnapping, attempted murder and attempted possession of drugs following their conviction last year.
Krejcir’s other co-accused - Samuel Maropeng, Jan Mofokeng, George Nthoroane and Siboniso Miya - were each sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
The men appeared emotionless while Miya and Nthoroane were seen laughing while the sentences were being read out.
During proceedings on Tuesday, state prosecutor Louis Mashiyane submitted to the court that Krejcir, Luphondo and Miya should each be sentenced to 28 years imprisonment.
Mashiyane said the case was of public interest and that all six accused were wealthy.
Three of the accused, warrant officers Samuel Maropeng, Jan Mofokeng and George Nthoroane were Hawks employees, who Mashiyane said had betrayed their employers like Judas had betrayed Jesus in the Bible.
“The legislature expected them to be beyond reproach and they have been convicted of serious charges,” Mashiyane said.
“None of them are remorseful and are still denying that they did the crime which amounts to contempt to court.”
Last year, Krejcir was found guilty of ordering the kidnapping and torture of Bheki Lukhele, whose brother, Doctor, had allegedly disappeared with 25kg of tik. Doctor worked at a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport.
Earlier, Krejcir’s applications for his witnesses, as well as his newly appointed lawyer, to be subpoenaed were refused by Lamont during the sentencing proceedings.
Krejcir had told the court that he was unable to contact his witnesses as well as his new lawyer Cliff Alexander after the court proceedings on Monday, as he had been advised to do by Lamont.
“I applied for permission, but my application was refused, I made another one with the director of the prison, but it was refused. They told me I need a court order... therefore my situation has not changed,” Krejcir said through a Czech interpreter.
On Monday, the court heard Krejcir saying that he felt Judge Lamont was dishonest, biased and untruthful and wanted him recused from the case. This too was refused by the court.
Krejcir was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for attempted dealing of drugs (count one), 15 years for kidnapping (count two) and 15 years for attempted murder (count three) with 10 years from each of the 15 years running concurrently to the 25 years, making it 35 years in total.
Luphondo was sentenced to the same amount of years for the same charges as Krejcir.
Krejcir, who had become a fugitive from his country in 2005 and resided in the Seychelles, arrived in South Africa two years later under a false name.
In 2012, Krejcir was sentenced in absentia to eight years of imprisonment for fraud in his home country.