Czech fraud-accused Radovan Krejcir was granted R500 000 bail in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
The magistrate said it was “safe to assume” that the Czech Republic was the “last place” Krejcir would hide if he were to leave South Africa as he was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison for fraud by a court in his home country.
“I do therefore believe that the interests of justice would not be put at risk if he is put on bail,” said magistrate Philip Venter.
Further, Krejcir did not have dual citizenship as alleged by the state.
Venter said Krejcir was facing charges of “dishonesty” rather that “extreme violence”.
He said the prosecution’s contention that Krejcir would intimidate witnesses and might tamper with evidence was based merely on the “say so” of the investigating officer. It was not backed up by evidence.
Krejcir was appearing on fraud charges relating to a R4.5-million claim he allegedly made to an insurance company, after managing to obtain medical papers falsely stating that he had cancer.
State prosecutor Riegal du Toit on Thursday asked that the application be denied.
Reading to the court from an affidavit by investigating officer Dumasani Patrick Mbotho, on Thursday, Du Toit said Krejcir knew several of the state witnesses and where they lived, and could possibly attempt to influence or threaten them.
In his statement, Mbotho claimed that Krejcir flew three Serbian assassins to South Africa on March 18 and 19 to kill some of the four people named on a list allegedly found in his home in Bedfordview.
At the top of the list was businessman Cyril Beeka, who was shot dead on March 21.
The State submitted that Krejcir was also a flight risk as he had family and funds overseas.
Krejcir’s advocate Mike Hellens submitted that the State had a weak case based on hearsay.
“The state’s case is not to be trusted,” he told the court on Thursday.
Bail conditions are that he has to report to the Bedfordview police station once a week, he cannot apply for any travel documents until the matter is finalised, Krejir should report to the investigating officer if he leaves the province and he is not allowed to contact any witnesses for any reason whatsoever.
Krejir, dressed in a black pinstripe suit, smiled broadly at his family when court adjourned on Friday.
His mother Nadezda, wife Katerina and son Denis rallied around him, congratulating him.
The case was postponed until July 8 for further investigation.