Krejcir's co-accused relieved Judge Lamont won't preside over Issa case

2016-04-20 17:52
Radovan Krejcir in court. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Radovan Krejcir in court. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Johannesburg - One of Radovan Krejcir's co-accused heaved a sigh of relief on Wednesday when he heard that Judge Colin Lamont will not preside over their trial for the murder of Lebanese businessman Sam Issa.  

Through an interpreter, taxi boss Siboniso Miya asked Lamont in the High Court in Johannesburg if he would hear the case when it was scheduled to return to court next week.

"No," Lamont replied.

A beaming smile appeared on Miya's face when he heard this, causing peals of laughter in the public gallery.

In February, Lamont sentenced both Miya and Krejcir to lengthy jail terms for a another kidnapping and assault case.

On Wednesday, Lamont began by arranging the logistics for the Issa trial, which another judge would preside over.

Prosecutor Lawrence Gcaba asked that the matter be provisionally postponed to April 28. The defence said it was ready to proceed with the case.

Gcaba said the trial would probably start on April 29.

Issa was gunned down while he waited at an intersection in Befordview around 06:00 on Saturday, October 12, 2013.

Police found at least 30 spent cartridges on the scene. Gcaba said some of them could be linked to an AK-47 stolen from Issa in a robbery.

Krejcir's alibi was that he left a restaurant in the same complex as his business Moneypoint, in Bedfordview, around 05:00 that morning, after a drink-fuelled night with old friends. The married father claimed to have gone to the home of a female friend in Linksfield from the restaurant.

In a previous appearance, Krejcir told the court he only found out later that morning that Issa had been killed.

Gcaba said, although investigators had not placed Krejcir at the scene, they believed he was behind the hit.

'Miya, come back for the other case'

He faces a string of charges alongside Bulgarian Lybohir Grigorov, Mfaniseni Memela, Nkanyiso Mafunda, and Miya.

Krejcir has denied any part in Issa's murder. He claimed he only knew him vaguely from clubs and restaurants, knew that he was from Lebanon, and that he had no family in South Africa.

The State alleges that Issa was killed because he and Krejcir argued about R500 000 in cash Issa had lent Krejcir for a bail application in another case.

Krejcir said this was a lie. He claimed his mother had sent him bail money and that Issa owed him R500 000.

Following the quick postponement of the case, Miya joined Grigorov, Memela and Mafunda as they made their way down the stairs to the holding cells below the court.

But a heavily-chained Krejcir gestured and called Miya back into the dock for another case they were facing.

"Miya, come back for the other case," Krejcir said to him, to laughter from the public gallery.

The Czech fugitive, who had his feet shackled, a chain with a padlock around his stomach, and his hands in cuffs, signalled to Miya that he was thirsty.

Miya, who only had his feet in chains, moved closer to Krejcir, opened a bottle of water and held it up for him to drink.

Read more on:    radovan krejcir  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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