Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir File picture: Dumisani Dube
/ANA

Johannesburg - Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir can now officially be booted out of South Africa, after the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court ruled on Friday that he is liable to be surrendered to the Czech Republic.

However, whether or not Krejcir will remain in South Africa to face his numerous criminal trials will be in the hands of Justice Minister Michael Masutha, who makes the final call.

Krejcir is currently at the centre of a series of criminal cases in South Africa, linked to the local underworld through drugs, intimidation and murder.

From the alleged murder of suspected Bedfordview drug kingpin Sam Issa, to the conspiracy to kill forensic consultant Paul O’Sullivan and a high-ranking police officer, Colonel Nkosana Ximba, Krejcir’s trials remain a massive burden on the court roll across Gauteng.

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Despite the criminal cases against him, thus far he has only been convicted of drug dealing and attempted murder, for which he was sentenced to an effective 34 years behind bars.

The Czech Republic has been trying since 2007 to ensure Krejcir is extradited to face criminal charges in his own country. These include cases of criminal conspiracy to commit fraud and murder, evasion of taxes, credit fraud and committing an offence of deprivation of personal freedom and blackmail.

In all of these Czech Republic cases, Krejcir was found guilty in his absence though, if he is extradited, he will be allowed to be re-tried under Czech law.

After years of Krejcir’s attempts to slow the extradition proceedings through the Supreme Court of Appeal, the case was placed back on the roll at Kempton Park in 2013.

However, the proceedings were scuppered yet again after Krejcir revealed he had made a political asylum application with the local refugee board, and it was only after this failed that the case was reinstated in 2016.

On Friday, magistrate Willem Schutte found that not only were at least five of the Czech criminal cases against Krejcir viable for prosecution, there was also a reasonable chance of success on conviction. And because of this, they were extraditable offences.

However, sources working on the case have said they are unsure about whether or not Minister Masutha will allow the extradition.

Krejcir is costing the state millions of rand because of the massive security detail surrounding him at all times following his alleged attempts to escape from prison.

“On the one hand, one could argue that if he’s extradited, the taxpayers will save huge amounts of money. On the other, his crimes have affected South Africa, and as a country we should demand justice for these crimes,” a source close to the case said.

An official statement from Krejcir's family through his lawyers read: “Radovan is considering his options. No further comment can be provided at this stage but we respect the decision of the court.”

According to the Extradition Act, Krejcir will have 14 days to file an appeal at the Supreme Court, and then Masutha will have up to 180 days to decide whether extradition will be appropriate.

Saturday Star