Radovan Krejcir trial hits legal finance snag

2014-06-09 13:46

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Some of the accused in the trial of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and five others still need to sort out their legal representation.

Some of the accused dropped their lawyers last month owing to financial constraints, the high court in Johannesburg, sitting in the Palm Ridge court heard today.

Desai Luphondo, the second accused in the trial, said he had wanted to continue with his previous lawyer Andre Steenkamp, but still needed to sort out his assets in order to obtain money.

“If I’m not able to come up with arrangements, I’ll take the Legal Aid lawyer,” said Luphondo.

If he chose Legal Aid, he would need to pay a certain amount towards the state-provided lawyer as he did not fully qualify for the assistance.

The court heard that accused number three Samuel “Saddam” Maropeng had approached Nardus Grove to represent him in the case.

Grove was also representing accused number five Siboniso Miya.

It was unclear whether Judge Collin Lamont would accept this.

If Lamont declined the request, Maropeng said he would apply for Legal Aid.

He was willing to make a contribution to that if required.

Meanwhile, accused number four and six, George Nthoroane and Jan Lefu Mofokeng, had appointed lawyer Cornelia Pleho to represent them.

She asked the court to allow her time to go through all their documentation.

The six are on trial for attempted murder, kidnapping and dealing in drugs.

They allegedly kidnapped Bheki Lukhele in June last year in a bid to make him reveal the whereabouts of his brother, Doctor.

Doctor had allegedly disappeared with 25kg of tik allegedly belonging to Krejcir, which he had been tasked to transport to Australia.

Lukhele testified that he was forcefully taken from his home, bound, blindfolded and assaulted.

He alleged that Krejcir had poured boiling water over his head.

Krejcir and all the accused denied involvement in the matter.

Meanwhile, lawyers of the police and forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan were in court to discuss subpoenas they had received from Krejcir’s lawyer Annelene van den Heever.

The matter continues.

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