Shackles, electric shock belts and fat rolls at Krejcir trial

2016-05-10 19:15
Radovan Krejcir. (Netwerk24)

Radovan Krejcir. (Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Shackles, electric shock belts and fat rolls formed the central theme of court proceedings as the murder trial of Radovan Krejcir and his quartet of cohorts struggled to get underway.

A series of delays hamstrung the start of the trial of the five, who stand accused of the 2013 murder of Lebanese National Sam Issa.

Krejcir faces nine charges, along with his co-accused, Bulgarian Lybohir Grigorov, Mfaniseni Memela, Nkanyiso Mafunda and Siboniso Miya.

Respective counsels for the accused and the State on Tuesday traded salvos, centred on the heavily armed police and correctional services officials in court, as well as the fact that the five were shackled in leg irons.

Krejcir has also been fitted with a "shock belt", a device that operates like a taser, and can be activated to incapacitate him should he embark on an escape bid.

The heightened security inside and outside the courtroom is a result of a raft of alleged escape plots by the Czech national, who was this year convicted of drug trafficking.

SW van der Merwe, who represents all the accused except Krejcir, argued that the fact that his clients were shackled created an impression of guilt and maligned their standing as innocent until proven guilty.

He presented case law that in the past, judges had recused themselves from hearing trials after seeing the accused in shackles, and raised doubts over whether Judge Winston Msimeki "would be able to proceed" with the matter.

‘Wounds, fat roll'

He said if the shackles remained in place and if Msimeki continued to adjudicate the case, it may have "far reaching consequences".  

Cliff Alexander, appearing on behalf of Krejcir, echoed this, emphasising that his client’s image had been tainted.

It emerged during court proceedings that Krejcir had been outfitted with the shock belt, something Alexander said further impugned his dignity.

Krejcir further claimed that the belt had injured him, and made it impossible to sit in comfort.

At one point he stood and removed his jacket and lifted his shirt to show Msimeki "wounds" caused by wearing the belt.

"You can see marks on what appears to be his fat roll. He still has a bit of fat on him," Alexander remarked.  

State advocate Lawrence Gcaba rebutted that, while the five were entitled to a fair trial and not to have their rights infringed upon, this was an extraordinary case.

He said that the platoons of guards armed to the teeth, the shackles and the threat analysis done by members of the National Intelligence Agency dictated that security be stepped up.

On his recusal from the matter and an order on whether or not the shackles and belt should be removed, Msimeki reserved his judgment until Friday. 

Read more on:    radovan krejcir  |  johannesburg  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.