Yet another delay in Krejcir case leaves judge frustrated

By IAfrica
In South Africa
Aug 6th, 2014
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JOHANNESBURG – After a late start and a three-hour adjournment, the case of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and five others was postponed on Wednesday.

Magistrate Colin Lamont agreed to have the matter postponed until Monday next week in the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court.

This was to allow a witness, Captain Bongani Gininida, to find his official police diary.

Annelene van den Heever for Desai Luphondo and Krejcir believed the diary would have information which would prove Luphondo was assaulted.

The court was hearing a trial-within-a-trial which was launched following allegations that policemen who arrested Luphondo on November 22, 2013, had assaulted him and influenced him into a confession.

Gininda had taken down the confession.

He testified that Luphondo had denied being assaulted or being forced into making the statement.

Van den Heever objected to Luphondo’s confession being entered in as evidence last week.

The trial had previously been delayed with issues concerning witness statements and cellphone and vehicle tracking documents being demanded by Van den Heever.

Earlier, Lamont expressed frustration at the delays.

After the lengthy adjournment on Wednesday, one of the accused, Siboniso Miya, who remained in police custody, raised his hand and told the judge that he and the other accused had not eaten since Tuesday.

Lamont had previously barred the lawyers of the accused from giving them food for security reasons.

All food given to the accused had to go through security, but the food had been held up with the court security on Wednesday.

Van den Heever said Krejcir was shaking, was seeing stars and was about to faint.

Dressed in a light blue jacket, Krejcir sat forward in the dock, his head lowered.

Lamont said the accused should be fed and his ruling on the security of the food stood.

After proceedings, the group, some of their lawyers and security officials continued to discuss the food and security matters.

They group were later led down to the cells to receive food.

Krejcir, Luphondo, Warrant Officers Samuel “Saddam” Maropeng and George Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng, and Siboniso Miya face charges of kidnapping, attempted murder and dealing in drugs.

They allegedly recruited a man known as Doctor Nkosi to help smuggle 25kg of tik (methamphetamine) to Australia.

He worked for a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport, and allegedly disappeared with the shipment.

Krejcir and his co-accused allegedly then kidnapped and tortured his brother, Bheki Lukhele, in a bid to have him reveal his sibling’s whereabouts.

Nkosi has also testified in the trial where he confessed to stealing the drugs.

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