Krejcir case moved to higher court

2013-12-02 11:41

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The bail application of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and two Hawks policemen has been moved from the district court to the regional court in Alberton, south of Johannesburg.

Magistrate Geo Martini felt a higher court should preside over the matter, when it came before him in the Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court.

Following the decision to move the case today, another magistrate, Reginald Dama, gave an order allowing the media to use their cellphones and take pictures inside the court room. At last week’s appearance the court was cleared of media on security grounds.

Earlier in the day, security was tight in and around the court as members of the police, Ekurhuleni metro police and private security guards searched every car going into the court grounds.

Only accredited people were allowed into the courtroom where Krejcir was to appear. Journalists were previously told to leave their cellphones, laptops, and cameras outside the room.

Heavily-armed members of the police tactical response team stood guard at the entrance to the courtroom and allowed only accredited people in. Other people at the court wondered who was appearing and complained that they were being delayed.

One man said: “Ke [Jacob] Zuma a tlang court, re tla ema. [Is Jacob Zuma appearing in court? We will wait].”

Krejcir, Desai Lupondo, and two members of specialist police unit the Hawks – Samuel Modise Maropeng and George Jeff Nthoroane – were due to apply for bail.

Krejcir, arrested on November 22, and Lupondo, appeared in the same court last Monday, where proceedings were held in camera for security reasons and postponed for further investigation.

Nthoroane (46) and Maropeng (41) appeared briefly in the same court on Wednesday. They were arrested on Tuesday.

While details of the charges the men face have not been made public yet, they were reportedly expected to face charges of kidnapping and assault, or alternatively attempted murder. The charges are believed to be related to an incident in June.

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