Krejcir to be hospitalised

By admin
26 November 2013

Czech businessman Radovan Krejcir will be hospitalised after the high court in Johannesburg granted an urgent application from his lawyers seeking his removal from jail.

Werner Beukes/SAPA

Before the high court ruling, Krejcir appeared briefly in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court with another man, Desai Lupondo, yesterday. Proceedings were held in camera for security reasons.

Krejcir was arrested on Friday on an initial charge of assault to cause grievous bodily harm.

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega said on Saturday that given the severity of the assault, the charge would be changed to attempted murder. The charges relate to an alleged assault in June.

Outside the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokeswoman Phindi Louw couldn’t say what charges Krejcir and Lupondo faced, as these hadn’t been formally presented in court.

The matter was postponed to next Monday for a bail application. Journalists were warned to apply for accreditation with the NPA if they wanted to attend.

Before the security measures were announced, reporters were moved from one court room on the third floor to another on the ground floor, before being asked to leave the court room.

Heavily armed police then asked the media to stand well back, before ordering them to leave the building. Other court cases were disrupted as the first floor was cleared.

Louw said she couldn’t disclose any information about the security concerns and wouldn’t indicate whether the precautions were in response to a particular threat.

Krejcir's lawyers submitted an urgent application to have him moved from prison to hospital amid claims he was assaulted and tasered following his arrest.

The high court in Johannesburg sat until shortly before 1 am on Monday, before Judge Ramarumo Monama reserved his judgment until 11 am.

Monama heard testimony from Krejcir's doctor, a state doctor and a police officer.

Krejcir's doctor, who can’t be named for security reasons, argued Krejcir could suffer renal failure if he didn’t receive medical attention.

The doctor said Krejcir's injuries were consistent with those of someone who’d been assaulted. The state doctor said he noticed injuries on Krejcir's wrists that could have been caused by handcuffs.

When court resumed at daylight on Monday Monama found Krejcir's doctor was a reliable witness. Monama said the doctor had found Krejcir had multiple cuts, and his hands were swollen and had burns.

He also found the approach taken by the state in the case was unfortunate as "they concentrated mostly on the peripheral issues".

The application wasn’t to determine whether Krejcir was assaulted, but rather to decide on whether he should be transferred to a medical facility.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate said earlier it was investigating Krejcir's assault claims.

The respondents, the minister of police and others, were ordered to pay the costs of the application.

Krejcir's attorney Ulrich Roux said the defence team would see that Krejcir was admitted to a hospital immediately.

The Czech fugitive arrived in South Africa in 2007 and was detained for a month after allegedly using a forged passport.

Krejcir's associates Uwe Gemballa and Teazers owner Lolly Jackson, with whom Krejcir was allegedly involved in a money-laundering operation, were both killed in 2010.

In March 2011, Krejcir's security consultant Cyril Beeka was killed in a drive-by shooting. A hit list allegedly found in Krejcir's home contained names including that of Beeka and security consultant Paul O'Sullivan.

In October this year, Bassam Issa, reportedly an associate of Krejcir's, was shot dead. In November a Serbian man, Veselin Langanin, who was arrested with Krejcir for armed robbery, was also shot dead.

In October 2012 the armed robbery charges against Krejcir were withdrawn.

In his home country in December last year, Krejcir was sentenced in absentia to 11 years in jail for money laundering.

Also last year, Krejcir was arrested for fraud related to a R4,5 million insurance claim, allegedly made using medical papers stating he had bladder cancer. The charges were withdrawn.

This year Krejcir survived a number of alleged attempts on his life. In July his car was shot at and his former employee Brendan Harrison was arrested for plotting to kill him.

On 12 November, two people were killed in a bomb blast at Krejcir's pawnbroking business in Bedfordview, Johannesburg.

Krejcir's extradition hearing was set to resume on 6 December.

-Meggan Saville and Miranda Raaff

- SAPA

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