Ailing Louka a no-show in court

2015-05-08 13:24
George Louka (Jenni Evans, News24)

George Louka (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Johannesburg - An ailing George Louka was a no-show in court on Friday as his lawyer claimed he was too ill to attend the proceedings.

Louka, who has stage-four lung cancer, was expected to appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on a charge of possession of suspected stolen property.

The matter relates to a 2006 incident where Louka was found in Isando on the East Rand in possession of suspected stolen branded sneakers with a value of over R1.5m.

"My client is incapable of standing trial as he is incapable of speaking. He is not fit to stand trial," Owen Blumberg for Louka told the court.

Magistrate Eric Mhlari said he had earlier been informed that Louka would not make it to court. 

He said: "I was told that this morning when he was supposed to be taken to court, he started vomiting and the doctor advised that he not be brought to court."

Louka was last seen in the High Court, sitting in Palm Ridge, last month where he requested the court to send him back home to Cyprus so he could die at home.

Wheelchair, oxygen tank

Sitting in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank by his feet and a breathing mask over him, Louka denied killing Jackson and claimed it was his associate, Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir who pulled the trigger.

He was extradited to South Africa last year to face several charges, including one relating to the murder of strip club owner Lolly Jackson.

Addressing the court on Friday, Blumberg stated that there was little chance of his client ever being seen in court as his ‘days were numbered’.

To Blumberg's apparent surprise, however, prosecutor Kaizer Mpepele said he did not know that Louka would not be making an appearance in court.

Blumberg stood his ground, claiming the state had been supplied with the medical certificate.

"He is dying and any attempt to prevent a medical record from being entered into the record is an offence against the dignity of my client, his right to life and right to a fair trial," said Bloomberg.

Sensitive information

He handed the medical certificate to Mhlari without reading it into the record as it contained sensitive information.

Mhlari accepted the certificate and questioned what was required of him.

"That is a fair question and I am not sure what to say to you," said Blumberg.

He said he intended to approach the High Court within the next week to once again request his client’s release.

He requested a postponement pending the outcomes of that matter.

Blumberg added that he could not understand why the State had set a trial date three months from now, knowing very well his client was about to die.

Mhlari granted the postponement.

"The matter is then postponed to May 25. The purpose is to allow the accused to recover from his illness if possible," he said.

Read more on:    lolly jackson  |  george louka  |  radovan ­krejcir  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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