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Krejcir to appeal turned-down bail bid

Sapa

Attempted murder accused Radovan Krejcir will seek leave to appeal after the high court in Johannesburg rejected his bail bid.

Attempted murder accused Radovan Krejcir will apply for leave to appeal after the high court in Johannesburg rejected a bid to have the Czech fugitive released on bail on Thursday.

Francois Roets, for Krejcir, said his team would file papers on Thursday afternoon to be ready for 11.30am on Friday, when they would seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Krejcir wants to appeal the high court's rejection on Thursday of an urgent application to overturn a regional magistrate's decision on December 13 to deny Krejcir bail.

Earlier, Judge Leonie Windell said she was satisfied with Palm Ridge Regional Court Magistrate Reginald Dama's decision to deny Krejcir bail.

Krejcir, Desai Luphondo, and two members of the Hawks, Warrant Officers Samuel Modise Maropeng and George Jeff Nthoroane, were arrested in November and face charges of kidnapping, assault, and attempted murder.

In the application Krejcir's team questioned Dama's decision not to allow them to conduct cross-examination on an affidavit submitted by the SA Revenue Service.

Schedule five
Windell upheld Dama's decision on this point and agreed that Krejcir and his co-accused were charged under schedule five of the Criminal Procedure Act.

Schedule five offences include murder, attempted murder, rape, drug-related crimes, particularly where the drugs are worth R50 000 or more, corruption, extortion, fraud, and assaulting a child under the age of 16.

In a bail application for a schedule five offence, the accused has to prove it will be in the interests of justice for them to be released from custody.

Windell reflected on Krejcir's previous behaviour in fleeing countries to evade trial and out of fear that he would be killed.

"[Krejcir] faces similar circumstances in South Africa. There have been at least two attempts on his life and two of his associates were killed," she said.

Krejcir had also expressed the opinion that he would not get a fair trial in South Africa.

In addition, Krejcir did not himself own assets in South Africa and had numerous business interests in other countries.

"Being a foreign national does not, in itself, preclude the court from granting bail," she said.

Conditions
There were no suitable conditions, however, that could be considered as an alternative to bail in this case.

Windell said in the past Krejcir had no difficulty obtaining false travel documents and hiding from authorities.

She said one witness in the case had received death threats and his dogs were killed.

In June, Krejcir and his three co-accused allegedly kidnapped and assaulted a man whose brother, known only as Doctor, disappeared with a 25kg shipment of tik he had been recruited to help smuggle through OR Tambo International Airport.

They allegedly kept the man at the Money Point business in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, for four days, and assaulted him.

Krejcir's wife Katerina Krejcirova was present in court and left quickly after the judgment was read out. – Sapa

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