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Krejcir's safety a concern: Phiyega

Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir arrives for his extradition hearing at the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Thursday, 29 August 2013. Krejcir wants to remain in South Africa and is fighting attempts by the National Prosecuting Authority to extradite him to his home country, the Czech Republic, where he faces an 11-year prison sentence. The Refugee Appeal Board refused him refugee status last year. He is appealing the decision. The State and the defence had agreed to postpone the matter pending the board's decision. Krejcir was sentenced in the Czech Republic last year after being convicted in absentia of money-laundering. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir arrives for his extradition hearing at the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Thursday, 29 August 2013. Krejcir wants to remain in South Africa and is fighting attempts by the National Prosecuting Authority to extradite him to his home country, the Czech Republic, where he faces an 11-year prison sentence. The Refugee Appeal Board refused him refugee status last year. He is appealing the decision. The State and the defence had agreed to postpone the matter pending the board's decision. Krejcir was sentenced in the Czech Republic last year after being convicted in absentia of money-laundering. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Published Nov 23, 2013

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Previous attempts on Radovan Krejcir’s life have prompted police to implement safety measures to protect him whilst in custody, national police commissioner Riah Phiyega said on Saturday.

“The suspects (Krejcir and an associate) are currently in safe police custody,” said told reporters in Pretoria.

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“We are concerned about the welfare and the safety of the suspects and we will not publicly indicate where they are being held.”

She said police had noted a high court order compelling police to tell them where the Czech businessman was being kept following his arrest on Friday.

“We will be communicating with the legal representatives of the suspects … to inform the lawyers about where they are being kept in safe custody in our police cells.”

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Earlier, Krejcir's lawyers confirmed they had been granted the urgent high court.

“We went to court to force the police to tell us where he is being detained,” his lawyer Eddie Classen said on Saturday.

“At this stage we don't know where Krejcir is.”

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Classen did not want to say in which court the order was granted or when it was granted.

CONTEMPT OF COURT?

Phiyega refuted claims that the police were transgressing Krejcir’s rights and could also be in contempt of court by not disclosing his whereabouts to the lawyers.

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“We are absolutely not reluctant to disclose Krejcir’s whereabouts, we will be talking to the lawyers of Mr Krejcir. We will inform them about the whereabouts,” she said.

“We are concerned about his safety as well as his harmony, wherever he is, because of the sensitivity of the matter.”

Last Tuesday, two people died and five were injured in an explosion at Krejcir's business, Money Point, in Befordview, on the East Rand.

In July, Krejcir was the target of an apparent assassination attempt outside Money Point.

Moments after he got out of his car, a remote-controlled gun installed behind the number plate of a car parked near his fired at him. Krejcir escaped unharmed.

Phiyega on Saturday said she was unable to answer whether Krejcir was planning to leave South Africa when he was arrested. She also said she did not know where Krejcir’s family was “because they are not suspects”.

FAMILY HAS FLED

Eyewitness news reported that according to security consultant Paul O'Sullivan Krejcir's wife and two sons had fled the country and were currently in Argentina.

Phiyega said Krejcir and his associate would appear in the Alberton Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of kidnapping and attempted murder.

The police chief repeatedly stated that bail would be opposed, should Krejcir apply for it.

“We will be in court on Monday and should there be an application for bail, we shall oppose it,” she said.

“We will also be looking at any involvement of our own members.”

The name of Krejcir's associate, who was arrested with him on Friday, would only be disclosed in court.

Phiyega on Saturday said an initial charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm was reported in the East Rand.

However, given the severity of the assault, the charge would be changed attempted murder.

“Regarding the issue around attempted murder, indeed when you talk about cause to do grievous bodily harm we would say there is a case for attempted murder. We probably will look into those when we deal with this matter in court,” said Phiyega.

She would not mention the details of the complainant, other than saying “it's a South African male from the East Rand”.

Phiyega said the assault happened in June.

“I think it is important for us to recognise that the safety of the complaint is also important. The details are available to us. You will get clearer details about the complainant when the matter appears in court.”

She said Krejcir’s arrest was a major breakthrough for the SA Police Service which followed lengthy multi-team investigations.

“There are many investigations that are taking place, even on the charges that the suspects have been arrested for, we hope to arrest more suspects as the investigations unfold.” -Sapa

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