Krejcir granted R500 000 bail

2011-04-08 14:14

Fraud accused Radovan Krejcir left the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court today after posting R500 000 bail.

Magistrate Philip Venter said the court had to use a “prophetic ability” in bail applications to answer the primary question of whether the accused would appear at his trial or not.

The history of the bail applicant was a “strong indication of what to expect in the future”.

However, he said it was “safe to assume” that the Czech Republic was the “last place” Krejcir would hide if he were to leave South Africa as he was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison for fraud by a court in his home country.

Krejcir had temporary refugee status in South Africa after fleeing from the Czech Republic and moving to the Seychelles, where he has citizenship, then on to South Africa.

In opposing bail the State had argued that Krejcir was a flight risk and South Africa did not have extradition treaties with the two countries.

Venter said he was “satisfied” that it would not be “plain sailing” for the state to prove his guilt, they were relying on the evidence of his physician, Marian Tupy, who was himself convicted of fraud and security consultant Paul ’O Sullivan who had expressed his dislike of the accused.

Further, Krejcir did not have dual citizenship as alleged by the state as he was no longer a Czech citizen.

Venter said Krejcir was facing charges of “dishonesty” rather than “extreme violence”.

He said the prosecution’s contention that Krejcir would intimidate witnesses and may tamper with evidence was based merely on the “say so” of the investigating officer. It was not backed up by evidence.

“I do therefore believe that the interests of justice would not be put at risk if he is put on bail,” said Venter.

Bail conditions included reporting to the Bedfordview police station once a week, he cannot apply for any travel documents until the matter is finalised, Krejir should report to the investigating officer if he leaves the province and he is not allowed to contact any witnesses for any reason whatsoever.

Krejcir said he was not surprised that he was granted bail because he believed in the South African justice system.

“I always believed for the justice system in South Africa so I never been surprised too much because I always believed that all these rumours and lies must come out,” he said in an Eastern European accent as he left the court after posting R500 000 bail.

A beaming Krejcir emerged from the court surrounded by his legal team and briefly stopped and addressed journalists outside the court.

“We must find out what the whole truth is,” he said.

Krejcir said since his mother, Nadezda, had arrived from the Czech Republic, he looked forward to enjoying a Czech meal today.

“I think I’ll little bit relax and play with my son.”

His son is 17 months old.

Krejcir, dressed in a black pinstripe suit, smiled broadly at his family when court adjourned today.

His mother, wife Katerina and son Denis rallied around him, congratulating him.

He was then whisked off in a black car with his mother in the front seat and shutters on the back windows shielding him from the view of dozens of photographers who gathered around the vehicle.

State prosecutor Riegal du Toit yesterday asked that the application be denied.

Reading to the court yesterday from an affidavit by investigating officer Dumasani Patrick Mbotho, Du Toit said Krejcir knew several of the state witnesses and where they lived, and could possibly attempt to influence or threaten them.

In his statement, Mbotho claimed that Krejcir flew three Serbian assassins to South Africa on March 18 and 19 to kill some of the four people named on a list allegedly found in his home in Bedfordview.

At the top of the list was businessman Cyril Beeka, who was shot dead on March 21.

Krejcir’s advocate Mike Hellens submitted that the state had a weak case based on hearsay.

“The state’s case is not to be trusted,” he told the court yesterday.

The case was postponed until July 8 for further investigation.

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