Sentences imposed must be a deterrent – Krejcir judge

2016-02-23 21:00
Radovan Krejcir (Jenni Evans, News24)

Radovan Krejcir (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Johannesburg  Judge Colin Lamont told the High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday that he wanted the sentences he imposed on Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and five other men who had been convicted of a drug-related crime to be used as a deterrent.

He sentenced Krejcir and his co-accused, Sandton businessman Desai Lupondo, to an effective 35 years in prison for the intent to deal drugs, kidnapping as well as attempted murder.

This was related to the Krejcir allegedly ordering the kidnap and torture of Bheki Lukhele, whose brother, Doctor, had apparently disappeared with 25kg of tik.

On Tuesday, the court heard that Krejcir had received the drugs from Lupondo. He had allegedly made an agreement with Doctor to export the drugs to Australia. Doctor worked at a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport.

Lamont said that out of all three crimes, the drug-related matter was "of a severe nature".

"There are persons dealing drugs on the streets... These persons [were] dealing with significant amount of drugs.

"They were planning and in the process of exporting the drugs. It is apparent that accused one [Krejcir] intended to deal the drugs. The evidence of what the drugs were is inadmissible, hence his conviction can only be an attempt," Lamont said.

Drugs never found

The drugs were never found, thus leaving the State unable to analyse their content.

Lamont, however, identified Krejcir as the "mastermind" in the entire matter. "The evidence established that he was the mastermind, commonly referred to as 'The Boss'," he said.

Taxi owner Siboniso Miya was sentenced to 15 years in jail. He was sentenced to 15 years for attempted murder and another 15 for kidnapping, but unlike Krejcir and Lupondo, he was only found guilty of attempted drug dealing, which got him a 12-year sentence. Lamont ordered that the sentences run concurrently, which would see him in jail for a total of 15 years.

Hawks officers Samuel Modise Maropeng, Jan Lefu Mofokeng and George Jeff Nthoroane were sentenced to an effective 15 years in jail.

Maropeng and Mofokeng were convicted of kidnapping and attempted murder, and were sentenced to 15 years each. However, the sentences would run concurrently, which meant the two would serve a maximum period of 15 years in jail.

Nthoarane was found guilty of kidnapping and common assault, with a 15-year and one-year sentence respectively. Lamont sentenced him to an effective 15 years in jail.

Prolonged and aggravated

Lamont told the court that Lukhele's kidnapping had been of a "prolonged and aggravated nature".

"The purpose of the kidnap was to take and contain the victim and force him to disclose the whereabouts of his brother."

It was revealed in court that Lukhele had had boiling water poured over his head and was asked by Krejcir whether he wanted to "die like a soldier".

Lamont said the officers had betrayed the trust society had entrusted in them. "They are employed by society and provided with tools to combat crime. They abused the trust society placed in them."

Since none of the men had admitted to any of the crimes, Lamont said it would be difficult to foresee the possibilities of rehabilitation. All six men were also deemed unfit to possess a firearm.

When Lamont concluded his judgment, all six men announced their intentions to appeal both the conviction and sentencing.

The matter would continue on Wednesday.

Read more on:    radovan krejcir  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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