Adv Barbie's co-accused faces law in Belarus

2010-01-13 00:00

BARANOVICHI (Belarus) — He doesn’t understand what’s going on, and he doesn’t understand why no one wants to listen to him, South African suspected child sex criminal Dirk Prinsloo said at the start of his trial for attempted bank robbery, theft from a girlfriend and the assault of another girlfriend.

Prinsloo’s trial started in this former Soviet republic on Monday. Locked in the steel accused’s cage, he demanded that the judge recuse himself, for alleged bias, and that the trial be conducted behind closed doors. The judge refused both demands.

Prinsloo was arrested on June 12 last year in the Belarussian capital, Minsk, after a failed bank robbery in Baranovichi, not far from the flat where he, his girlfriend and their young daughter lived.

Prinsloo fled to Belarus in 2006 to avoid his trial in South Africa. In October last year his co-accused, Cézanne Visser, (better known as Advocate Barbie) was found guilty on 11 of the 14 sexually related charges against her. She will be sentenced on February 8.

Prinsloo’s trial in Baranovichi is expected to last a few weeks.

According to Belarussian police, Prinsloo bought a toy gun and a balaclava two weeks before the bank robbery. He took along a knife that he always kept with him, even while he slept.

Prinsloo allegedly used gardening shears to cut the bank’s telephone lines, and blocked a door with a metal rod wrapped in paper.

When he stormed into the bank, he apparently showed the cashiers a poster with the words “Money on table”.

Later, according to police, he admitted that he wrote the message with the help of an electronic pocket translator.

According to police, the cashiers had access to a safe and money, but the “brave” women simply refused to hand the cash to Prinsloo.

He allegedly assaulted a cashier and then fled when another cashier activated the alarm. On his way out, he allegedly also assaulted a female bank client.

According to the ntex-Press newspaper, four bank workers were injured.

One woman was beaten and kicked, another woman was trampled, leaving a shoe print on her clothes, and another had to receive “neurosurgical” treatment.

Prinsloo’s fingerprints were apparently all over the bank. He was caught two days later in an Internet cafe in Minsk.

The Star reported that Prinsloo is also accused of the theft of a R14 700 diamond necklace from one of his several girlfriends.

Prinsloo is also accused of the abuse and “torture” of another girlfriend. Prosecutors allege that he slapped her in the face and “delivered blows” to her body. Prinsloo would then take pictures of her injuries with which he would taunt her.

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