Court turns down Krejcir request
An urgent application by Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir to be allowed more freedom at the Kgosi Mampuru prison was dismissed by the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.
"I do not think I should exercise my discretion… The order I make is that the application is dismissed with costs for the junior and senior counsel," Judge Neil Tuchten said.
Annelene van der Heever, for Krejcir, had told the court her client was moved from the ground floor of the prison's hospital wing to the first floor on February 18.
Since then, Krejcir had not been allowed to communicate, socialise, exercise or eat with other inmates, as he had before, she said.
He had also not been allowed to consult privately with medical practitioners as he was guarded by two officials 24-hours a day.
He could also no longer move around freely at the hospital, as he had previously, she said. Van der Heever argued that the department of correctional services (DCS) had placed her client in isolation without following due process.
She said Krejcir's human rights had been infringed.
Marumo Moerane, for the DCS, said Krejcir was moved to a single cell because he was a prisoner awaiting trial who needed to be separated from those already sentenced.
He was also moved away from infected inmates, Moerane submitted.
Van der Heever said Krejcir was the only one detained in the area and had no one to communicate with. "It is not the correctional service's fault that there are no other unsentenced and uninfected prisoners," Tuchten said.
Moerane said the department was acting in accordance with an order handed down by Judge J Monama in November, when Krejcir was arrested and charged with kidnapping and attempted murder.
Van der Heever argued that Monama's court order said nothing about restricting her client's movements and having him guarded 24-hours a day. Moerane said it was for his own safety.
Court papers revealed that Krejcir has a history of depression and epileptic fits. Monama made an order in November declaring that Krejcir required medical attention and treatment, which demanded his admission to a medical treatment facility.
The order also directed Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega to transfer Krejcir to the Pretoria prison's medical facility to receive medical treatment from a medical practitioner of his choice, provided he was admitted under police guard.
Van der Heever said the DCS was contravening Monama's order. "Twenty-four hour guarding of the applicant is in contravention of the order granted by Monama."
She said the department should give Krejcir the right to consult with medical personnel in private. Moerane said the DCS denied that Krejcir could not consult in private.
He also said some of the inmates in Krejcir's former cell had mental conditions, which may have posed a threat to him.
"The circumstance which the applicant is being held is because of his medical conditions. Under these circumstances, I can determine no invasion of his rights," Tuchten said. – Sapa