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Justice Minister threatened with legal action by Krejcir

Publish date: 10 September 2018
Issue Number: 790
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Criminal

Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir says it is in SA’s interest that he be extradited to the Czech Republic – and has threatened to sue Justice Minister Michael Masutha if he does not do so, notes a report in The Herald. Krejcir’s lawyers have also hinted that, should he remain in custody, the convicted drug smuggler and accused murderer, who is serving a 35-year sentence, would continue trying to escape. ‘Should this unfortunate event materialise, the South African government will undoubtedly be severely embarrassed,’ Krejcir’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, wrote to Masutha. ‘On the contrary, if Mr Krejcir is extradited immediately this threat will be permanently removed and so will the burden of having a ‘‘crime boss and the most dangerous criminal’’ on our shores.’ In an eight-page letter, Mabuza argues that Krejcir’s trials and incarceration had already cost SA taxpayers R200m. It was ‘inexplicable’ that Masutha has not acted on a March court order that he could be surrendered for extradition. ‘We submit, with respect, that it is first and foremost in the interests of justice as well as in our national interest to have Mr Krejcir extradited to his native country without further delay,’ Mabuza writes, adding: ‘He now no longer wishes to appeal, challenge or resist the request for his extradition.’ The Czech Republic has been trying since 2007 to ensure Krejcir is extradited to face a 15-year jail term after being found guilty and sentenced in his absence for conspiracy to commit fraud and murder, evasion of taxes, credit fraud and committing an offence of deprivation of personal freedom and blackmail.

Full report in The Herald (subscription needed)