Louka case postponed for medical application

2015-04-20 12:51
George Louka (Netwerk24)

George Louka (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - The department of correctional services has applied to have murder-accused George Louka released from custody to be treated privately for lung cancer, it emerged in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Judge Geraldine Borchers postponed the case until Tuesday to make her finding on the application, made in terms of Section 49e of the Correctional Services Act.

''It is a new application brought, there is no precedent," said Borchers to prosecutor Paul Schutte.

''I think it's a good idea to look at the documents and to consider the provisions of the act. I don't want to do that instantly.''

But the matter was not over.

''Why is he [Louka] not here Mr Schutte?" asked Borchers, who had had to pause proceedings earlier to let five men file into the dock, their leg chains clanking noisily as they shuffled in.

Security issues

Schutte explained that there were security issues transporting Louka from prison for the hearing.

The court is situated in a vast building on the outskirts of Alberton, and is reached by a series of highways, off-ramps and a final drive through suburbs.

''But why didn't he come today?'' insisted Borchers.

"Is it because he is too ill?"'

Prosecutor Paul Schutte replied by referring to the application by correctional services.

The State intends opposing the correctional services application.

Schutte used the name ''Smith'' when mentioning Louka, a reference to another passport the fugitive held. His surname is Louka on his identity document and is Louka according to a reporter from The Star who visited him in Cyprus.

Tensions rose before proceedings started with the mention of a possible postponement of the trial to September.

Stage four lung cancer

"Are you aware of the fact that my client is currently dying?" said Louka's counsel Owen Blumberg when the State's side seemed to suggest a postponement for the murder trial to September, while counsel was still waiting for the judge to arrive.

In February, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said Louka had been hospitalised with suspected tuberculosis.

It has since emerged that Louka has stage four lung cancer.

Blumberg and an investigating officer became more irritated with each other and suggested taking the conversation outside the court room, walking out into the corridor crossly.

They had a few words outside and returned, still irritable, but less argumentative.

'It's a cover up'

Blumberg muttered:  "It's a cover up", before they both finally trailed off.

The Cypriot national is accused of killing Jackson on May 3, 2010 and fleeing the country.

He was extradited to South Africa in February 2014 after losing a final appeal to avoid extradition.

It was reported at the time that Jackson was shot dead in a house in Edleen, on the East Rand. Louka allegedly called then Gauteng police intelligence boss Joey Mabasa and confessed to the crime.

Blumberg said during Louka's last court appearance they would argue that Louka did not murder Jackson.

The murder case had originally been set down for trial from January 26 to March 6 in the South Gauteng High Court, which sits at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court for this case.

It has also been reported that Louka made claims in five affidavits that Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir shot Jackson during a fight over R740 000.

Read more on:    george louka  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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