Krejcir trial winds up

Judge: “The matter must get finished, sentence must be meted out to the accused”

Sentencing proceedings against Radovan Krejcir and his co-accused are expected to proceed today in the Johannesburg High Court court under heavy security.

A source close to the investigation who requested his identity be withheld said Krejcir was desperate to escape and was looking for any chance to escape.

Body and bag searches, and limited public access by Johannesburg Metro Police and South African Police Service Tactical Response Team had the court under complete lockdown at the last appearance and the situation is like to be unchanged.

Sentencing proceedings were due to start on September 11 but have run into a number of roadblocks, including Krejcir firing his advocate Annelene van den Heever reportedly because she refused to represent him after not being paid.

At their last appearance, Judge Colin Lamont warned he would brook no further postponements.

“The accused must take note the likelihood of me granting any further postponements in the matter is extremely unlikely,” Judge Lamont said last time.

“The matter must get finished, sentence must be meted out to the accused, and life must carry on from there.

“This case will finish, and you will be sentenced by no later than November 19 barring some catastrophe.”

The defence teams and the prosecution will have two days in which to argue mitigation and aggravation of sentence before Lamont hands down his sentence on Thursday.

Luphondo also faces seizure of his property following an application by National Directorate of Public Prosecutions advocate Prashika Jagnath she intended to investigate under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act whether or not he had benefitted from the drug deal for which he was convicted.

The last search of Krejcir’s cell revealed cellphones, a Corrections uniform and a firearm, while the last person, Amanda Papoutsis, who visited Krejcir – ostensibly to discuss selling his Bedfordview property – was arrested for trying to smuggle a cellphone into him.

Krejcir, Sandton businessman Desai Luphondo, former East Rand organised crime Warrant Officers Samuel Modise Maropeng, Jan Lefu Mofokeng and George Jeff Nthoroane, and Siboniso Miya were convicted in September for the kidnapping and attempted murder of Bhekithemba Lukhele in June 2013.

Nthoroane was found guilty of common assault. Judge Lamont found all six accused guilty on kidnapping charges and only Nthoroane escaped an attempted murder conviction. Luphondo was also found guilty of dealing in drugs. – amandaw@citizen.co.za



today in print

today in print