Czech fugitive Krejcir fails in bid to have judge recuse himself

Radovan Krejcir in court last year. (Gallo Images)

Radovan Krejcir in court last year. (Gallo Images)

Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir on Monday represented himself in the South Gauteng High Court as sentencing resumed in his kidnapping, attempted murder and dealing in drugs case.

Krejcir fired his lawyer, attorney Nardus Grove, before the sentencing could get under way.

The Czech fugitive, who appeared with five other accused, then unsuccessfully tried to have Judge Colin Lamont recuse himself, alleging bias, dishonesty and part of a conspiracy against him.

Krejcir’s co-accused include Desai Luphondo, Warrant Officers Samuel Modise Maropeng, George Jeff Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng and Siboniso Miya.

In October 2015 Krejcir was found guilty of ordering the kidnap and torture of Bheki Lukhele, whose brother, Doctor, had allegedly disappeared with 25kg of tik. Doctor worked at a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport.

On Monday with some degree of difficulty, Krejcir spoke in English as he gave evidence in mitigation of sentence.

Krejcir said Lamont should recuse himself because the judge had thought he had wanted to kill him after Lamont had had an incident on his way home.

“Why will I try to kill you? Why would you only mention my name when there are other accused?” Krejcir asked. He denied being involved in any plot to kill the judge.

After Lamont dismissed the application to recuse himself, he asked Krejcir to tell him about himself and his responsibilities.

Krejcir said he had studied for a degree in economics in his home country and came to South Africa in 2007. He said he has been married for 25 years and had two sons – a six-year-old and a-23-year-old who was deported from South Africa. Krejcir said he assumed his mother was looking after his other son and wife.

Krejcir (47) said he had “millions” overseas.

Dressed in a white T-shirt and in handcuffs, Krejcir cut a lonely figure in the court where numerous armed police officers kept watch.

State prosecutor Louis Mashiyane said it had no objection the judge “standing down” the matter to allow Krejcir to get a Czech interpreter and to bring witnesses.

Judge Lamont took a short adjournment to consider Krejcir’s request for a postponement. – African News Agency (ANA)

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