Polish crime boss in SA could be freed if no interpreter found

2014-08-28 10:17

A Polish man wanted in his home country for a range of crimes may evade deportation from South Africa if a Polish interpreter is not found for his court case.

Janusz Graf was arrested in Somerset West in the Western Cape in February over an expired visa. While he was at the Lindela repatriation facility near Krugersdorp in Gauteng waiting for deportation, police discovered he was wanted in Poland, Beeld reported today.

He was taken into custody by an Interpol official.

He was allegedly one of Poland’s most feared gangsters, with Beeld reporting that he was accused of crimes committed 14 years ago which included murder, kidnapping and bribery.

His case had been delayed several times because of the interpreter issue. An elderly Polish woman was translating on June 30, but she had been unavailable since then due to medical reasons.

During a brief appearance at the Krugersdorp Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Magistrate Abdul Khan said he was disappointed that Poland’s embassy and government were doing nothing to help.

Graf was only supposed to be detained for 18 days but two months had passed.

Khan postponed the matter for a week with the warning that if an interpreter was not found the case would be struck off the roll.

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