No case against Krejcir co-accused - lawyer

By Getrude Makhafola Time of article published Dec 4, 2013

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Johannesburg - The State has no case or evidence against two members of the Hawks, the Palm Ridge Regional Court heard on Wednesday.

“Accused three and four have been accused of threatening witnesses by the investigating officer... no such evidence was presented by the State implicating them directly or indirectly,” submitted their lawyer Francois Roets.

Hawks members Warrant Officers Samuel Modise Maropeng and George Jeff Nthoroane were applying for bail with Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and estate agent Desai Luphondo. They were arrested last month and face charges of assault, kidnapping, and attempted murder.

Roets argued that the policemen were not a flight risk and should be granted bail. They denied any involvement in the alleged crime.

Roets said there was no truth in the State's allegation that Maropeng owned four properties and four luxury cars. His client owned only one property and was renting in Germiston, on the East Rand.

“My client only owns the Nissan Navara and not a Maserati, Range Rover and a Mercedes-Benz as stated before this court.”

Maropeng was a widower and looked after seven children.

Roets said Nthoroane's wife was also a member of the police. Nthoroane denied threatening any witnesses, he said.

“My clients are members of the police, have no previous convictions... they are not streetwise thugs.”

He asked why his clients were arrested five months after the alleged crimes were committed in June.

Willie Vermeulen, for Krejcir, told the court his client would not leave the country or threaten any witnesses if he was granted bail. Krejcir also denied the charges against him.

Earlier, Luphondo's lawyer said his client was a sole breadwinner who looked after eight children, and should be granted bail.

“The State alleged he is a drug-pusher, but (he) has not been charged or arrested for such drug allegations.”

He said there was only one complainant in the case, and that the State had resources such as the witness protection service to ensure he was not harmed.

The State alleges that Krejcir, Luphondo, Maropeng and Nthoroane, were involved in the kidnapping and assault of a man whose brother was recruited to smuggle drugs through OR Tambo International Airport to Australia. The alleged smuggler, known as Doctor, worked at the airport.

He disappeared after handing airport clearance receipts to Luphondo. The consignment did not reach Australia.

The bail hearing continues. - Sapa

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