The high court in Johannesburg has turned down Czech businessperson Radovan Krejcir's bail application.
Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir's application to overturn an earlier ruling denying him bail was rejected by the high court in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Judge Leonie Windell said she was satisfied with magistrate Reginald Dama's decision to deny Krejcir bail in the Palm Ridge Regional Court on December 13.
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 South African Revenue Service.
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.
In terms of schedules five and six of the Criminal Procedure Act, an accused must show that it is in the interests of justice for them to be released on bail. According to schedule six, however, they also have to show that exceptional circumstances exist to justify their release.
Schedules five and six offences include murder, rape, and robbery.
Alternative to bail
Judge Windell reflected that Krejcir had previously fled 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," Windell said.
Krejcir had expressed the opinion that he would not get a fair trial in South Africa. In addition, he did not 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. There were no suitable conditions, however, that could be considered as an alternative to bail in this case.
False travel documents
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.
Krejcir's lawyer Francois Roets asked that the matter stand down until 2pm, so his team could seek leave to take the matter up with the Supreme Court of Appeal. His request was granted.
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 Krejcir's 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