Krejcir heading to SCA in bid to overturn conviction

2016-04-20 19:13
(Jacaranda News, Twitter)

(Jacaranda News, Twitter)

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Johannesburg – Czech criminal Radovan Krejcir's newly appointed legal team have said they would head to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) after Judge Colin Lamont dismissed their leave to appeal Krejcir's conviction and sentencing.

"We expected that it might be dismissed," said Cliff Alexander, one of the members of Krejcir's legal team, after the judgment on Wednesday.

"Of course, one has to plan for these things. So we will take the necessary instructions... from Mr Krejcir to petition the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein to determine whether or not the learned justices there would determine that another court could possibly come to a different conclusion." 

Krejcir's legal team said it respected Lamont's decision, but was hopeful that another court would overrule his decision. "But we still believe there is reasonable prospect of success," Alexander said. 

Krejcir's five co-accused could also head to the SCA. 

After two days of hearing submissions, Lamont said the group had not provided enough grounds for an appeal. 

"In my view, there's no reasonable prospect that another court will reach a different conclusion," he said during his ruling.

Krejcir, a Czech fugitive from justice, and his co-accused - three of them former police officers - orchestrated the kidnapping of Bhekithemba Lukhele in June 2013. They wanted him to reveal the whereabouts of his brother, Doctor, who worked for a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport.

Krejcir had wanted Doctor's help in smuggling 25kgs of tik to Australia.

Heavy sentences

In February, Lamont sentenced Krejcir, Desai Luphondo, Siboniso Miya and former police officers Samuel Maropeng, Jan Mofokeng and George Nthoroane, to lengthy jail terms.

Krejcir was jailed for 35 years for kidnapping and attempted murder and 25 years for attempted drug dealing, to run concurrently.

Sandton businessman, Luphondo, was handed 25 years for dealing in drugs and 15 years each for kidnapping and attempted murder. He would serve a total of 35 years.

Taxi boss Miya was sentenced to 15 years each for attempted murder‚ kidnapping, and attempted drug dealing. He would serve an effective 15 years.

Former East Rand organised crime unit member, Maropeng, received 15 years each for attempted murder and kidnapping, and would serve 15 years.

His two former colleagues, Nthoroane and Mofokeng‚ were sentenced to 15 years each for kidnapping. Nthoroane received an additional year for assault.

As the five men were led back to the police holding cells below the courtroom, they did not show any signs of defeat.

They chatted among themselves, with Nthoroane's eyes scanning the court gallery for his family.

About a dozen heavily armed police officers lined the dock of the court gallery.

The officers wore bulletproof vests and helmets.

Beefed up security

Krejcir's High Court appearances have all taken place under heavy police guard, with security officials body searching everyone entering the courtroom.

Those attending the court proceedings, including journalists, were barred from using cellphones and laptops. Only pens and paper were permitted to document proceedings.

Security was beefed up at the court following allegations of Krejcir's escape plots.

In one of the latest security threats, the entire court had to be cleared after a bomb threat was received in the middle of Krejcir's trial.

He still faces a string of other charges, including one of the murder of Lebanese businessman, Sam Issa, who was gunned down in 2013.

Read more on:    radovan krejcir  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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