Krejcir, co-accused conclude appeal submissions

2016-04-19 12:21
Radovan Krejcir (Netwerk24)

Radovan Krejcir (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Convicted criminal Radovan Krejcir and his co-accused will learn on Wednesday whether they persuaded High Court Judge Colin Lamont to grant them leave to appeal their conviction and sentences.

Over the last two days, lawyers for the six men pointed out what they said were flaws in Lamont’s interpretation of the evidence presented during their trial.

They criticised the complainant, Bheki Lukhele's ability to properly identify the men who reportedly kidnapped him from his Katlehong home and tortured him. He said Krejcir poured boiling water over his head.

They pointed out differences between the statement Lukhele gave to police and his testimony in court.

James Grant, for Krejcir, pointed out that while Lamont had called Lukhele a reliable witness, in his judgment he had stated that he did not accept some of his evidence.

Grant, a former criminal law professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, said this was contradictory.

The lawyers said the accused were found guilty of attempted drug dealing, despite the fact that the drug was never found. 

Nothing new in submissions

Krejcir, a Czech fugitive from justice, and his co-accused, three of them former police officers, orchestrated the kidnapping of Lukhele in June 2013. They wanted him to reveal the whereabouts of his brother, Doctor, who worked for a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport.

Krejcir had wanted his help to smuggle 25kg of tik to Australia.

On Monday, prosecutor Louis Mashiane told the court there was nothing new in the submissions that the lawyers had presented. The defence was however confident that another court would arrive at a different conclusion.

In February, Lamont sentenced Krejcir, Desai Luphondo, Siboniso Miya and former police officers Samuel Maropeng, Jan Mofokeng and George Nthoroane to lengthy jail terms

Krejcir was jailed for 35 years for kidnapping and attempted murder and 25 years for attempted drug dealing, to run concurrently.

Sandton businessman Desai Luphondo was handed 25 years for dealing in drugs and 15 years each for kidnapping and attempted murder. He would serve a total of 35 years.

Taxi boss Siboniso Miya was sentenced to 15 years each for attempted murder‚ kidnapping, and attempted drug dealing. He would serve in effect 15 years.

Former East Rand organised crime unit member, Warrant Officer Samuel “Saddam” Modise Maropeng, received 15 years each for attempted murder and kidnapping, and would serve 15 years.

His two former colleagues, Warrant Officers Jeff Nthoroane and Jan Mofokeng‚ were sentenced to 15 years each for kidnapping. Nthoroane got an additional year for assault.

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