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Krejcir robbery case postponed

2012-04-23 13:18

Pretoria - The armed robbery case involving businessman Radovan Krejcir and his two co-accused was postponed in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday.

In a very brief appearance, magistrate Maryke de la Rey postponed the matter to May 11, when disclosures of evidence would be made to the defence team.

The former Czech national, together with Jason Domingues and Veselin Langanin, had his bail conditions extended on Monday. During their previous appearance in February, the court granted Krejcir R30 000 bail. Domingues and Langanin got R10 000 bail each.

At the time, the trio had spent almost a week in custody after being arrested for allegedly robbing an electronics shop owned by a Pakistani national in Pretoria West in October 2011.

'Retribution'

In a submission read out by defence lawyer Mike Hellens during the bail application phase, Krejcir claimed his arrest was "retribution" for the legal action he had instituted against Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

"The arrest is retribution for causing discomfort [to] the police minister," the document reads.

Police raided and searched Krejcir's Bedfordview, Johannesburg house in March 2011. He subsequently instituted legal action for unlawful entry to a private property.

Hellens questioned the police's conduct, who arrested the trio almost four months after the robbery was committed.

"Armed robbery is a very serious offence, always accompanied with immediate action from the police. They only decided to arrest the three accused after the minister was served with summons," said Hellens.

In a futile bid to stifle the trio's bail application, prosecutor Casper Kruger presented arguments touching on Krejcir's chequered past. He highlighted how Krejcir had landed in South Africa in 2007 with a fake passport from the Seychelles. Kruger further mentioned outstanding warrants of arrest against Krejcir in the Czech Republic.

The trio's testimonies corroborated each other, refuting the robbery claims and suggesting they had visited the shop to collect money which belonged to Langanin.

Last week fraud charges against Krejcir were provisionally withdrawn in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court. The fraud case relates to a R4.5m claim made by Krejcir to an insurance company, allegedly using medical papers stating he had cancer. His urologist Marian Tupy previously admitted to falsifying insurance documents so Krejcir could be paid out for bladder cancer.

The State provisionally withdrew the charges, citing other High Court cases underway, which overlapped with the case.

Krejcir is also embroiled in a legal battle to fend off attempts by the Czech government to extradite him, and has applied for refugee status in South Africa.