Krejcir's father's body dissolved in acid, court told

2015-07-28 19:23
Radovan Krejcir in court. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Radovan Krejcir in court. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Johannesburg - Radovan Krejcir had to sneak out of the Czech Republic on a fake passport after his father was murdered and his body dissolved in acid, he told the Germiston Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, in an effort to explain his collection of fake passports.

Fearing for his own life, and hearing of plans to have him killed after a party he supported won an election, friends helped him organise a passport in the name of his friend Thomas Tomega, with the photo altered, and he left the country by bicycle for the safety of Poland.

From there he went to the Ukraine, then on to Turkey, then Dubai, and finally, to the Indian Ocean island of Seychelles, which he said did not have an extradition treaty with any country in the world at that time.

In addition to the Tomega passport, he had three other fake ones, calling himself Vladimir Antosik, Petr Polansky from the Czech Republic and Jozef Bela from the Slovak Republic.

In his own name, according to evidence presented by prosecutor Lawrence Gcaba, was a parking pass for the parliament of the Czech Republic, where Krejcir said he was an active campaigner and financial donor for the opposition in the run up to an election.

'Enemy number one'

Krejcir said he moved in political circles in the Czech Republic, although he was not an MP himself. But it all went awry when the opposition won the election. Overnight he became ''state enemy number one'' and he had to leave in a hurry for political reasons.

''I become to be enemy number one and that's why they kill my father,'' he said. 

He said he came clean when he eventually landed in the Seychelles, telling officials why he was on the run. He said countries understand that people fleeing dangerous situations use false passports. When in Seychelles he was given a Seychelles passport in his own name.

Once again, he moved in politically connected circles. He had a degree of protection, in that if he felt worried or threatened he could call his lawyer and his lawyer would tell the police, and the police would keep an eye on his safety.

But then he got wind of threats against him in the Seychelles that he said emanated from the Czech Republic. With the help of the then ex-president of Seychelles he got another passport, this time in the name Egbert Savy and headed for South Africa, he said.

Applied for asylum

He said he declared straight away, when he arrived in South Africa, that he was fearing for his life and applied for asylum.
But this was denied, and that decision is on appeal.

Defending his many passports, he said that both South Africa and the Seychelles allowed people to change their names.

Krejcir faces a raft of charges in a number of cases that often confuse the ordinary reader.

But on Tuesday, the case in the Germiston Magistrate's Court was focussed on the murder of Lebanese businessman Sam Issa.

Issa was gunned down while he waited at an intersection at about 06:00 on October 12 2013.

Police found at least 30 cartridges on the scene and, according to Gcaba, some of the cartridges can be linked to an AK47 stolen from Issa in a robbery.

Krejcir's alibi is that he left a restaurant in the same complex as his business Moneypoint at about 05:00 after a drink-fuelled night with old friends. The married father of three went to the home of a female friend in Linksfield from the restaurant.

Krejcir faces nine charges

He only found out later in the morning that Issa had been killed and, at first, a news report incorrectly said that it was him who had been shot dead.

Gcaba said that although Krejcir was not placed at the scene by investigators, they believe he was behind the hit.

Krejcir faces nine charges along with Bulgarian Lybohir Grigorov, Mfaniseni Memela, Nkanyiso Mafunda and Siboniso Miya, for the murder of Issa, but it was Krejcir who took the limelight during the application, with the others left to sit and listen.

In his black jacket, crisp white shirt and blue jeans, and a hard cover black and red counter book for taking notes, he said the charges against him would not stick because there was no admissable evidence and that it all came down to a conspiracy.

He also said that he would never skip bail and leave South Africa because he had ''hundreds of millions'' invested here, and wanted to bring his wife Katharina and their children back to the country.

He had discovered, though, that they were not able to return to South Africa and saw this as the State trying to prevent him from receiving support from his family.

Conspiracy

His predicament, he explained, was a conspiracy in which national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega wanted to have him arrested. He said that National Prosecuting Authority advocate Gerrie Nel; private investigator Paul O'Sullivan; a Captain Mendez in Interpol; suspended Gauteng Hawks head Major General Shadrack Sibiya; and Colonel Nkosana "Killer" Ximba all wanted to pin the blame on him.

''I believe it's an instruction from Riah Phiyega, the national commissioner, and also some, uh, this investigating team, which I believe that you are part of this conspiracy as well,'' he said to Gcaba, as the public gallery burst out laughing.

"Well it may be funny for everybody else, but not for me," he said.

He claimed Ximba had threatened him with the notorious 26s and 28s gang if he carried on with his bail application, and there had been no investigation into this. A car rigged with guns and explosives, which went off outside his business, had also not been investigated, he claimed.

He accused police officer Captain Candice Coetzee of trying to get him to withdraw his bail application in exchange for dropping any new cases against him they were working on.

A number of the co-accused in the cases he faces are policemen.

He claimed that people were being tortured and assaulted to implicate him in all sorts of crimes.

His lawyers even had copies of these witness statements, he said.

Denies murdering Issa

In one statement, the co-owner of a Randburg restaurant and butchery said he was visited by two police officers - one of them Coetzee - and kept in custody for four days in an effort to persuade him to make a statement against Krejcir. He wouldn't, said the man, who had once pawned cars at Krejcir's Moneypoint business.

Krejcir has denied having any part in Issa's murder, saying he only knew him vaguely from clubs and restaurants, knew that he was from Lebanon and had no family here. He said Issa was not even close enough to have cracked an invite to his birthday party at his house on the Vaal River. 

But Gcaba said Issa was killed because he and Krejcir had a dispute over R500 000 in cash that Issa had lent Krejcir for a bail application in another case.

Krejcir said this was a lie. His mother had sent money to bail him out and actually, Issa owed him R500 000.

The atmosphere of the hostile exchanges between Gcaba and Krejcir's lawyer Annelene van den Heever in front of Magistrate Sharlotte Sithole, were set aside during the lunch adjournment when Van den Heever produced a massive chocolate cream cake to celebrate her birthday which was on Monday.

But this time, she brought a small white plastic takeaway knife to cut the cake after Judge Colin Lamont blamed her for causing a security threat in the High Court in Johannesburg last year by bringing a bread knife into court to cut her cake.

The heavily armed police officers, court officials and journalists sang happy birthday to her as she threw her head back and laughed, licking cream cake off her fingers.

But when court resumed, it was back to business.

The case was postponed to Wednesday.


Read more on:    radovan krejcir  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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