It’s a lie, says Krejcir of new escape plot claim
He says department's allegation is just to stop his prison conditions being improved
Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir is crying foul at prison authorities again, saying their claims that he tried to escape in December is “nothing more than an elaborate plot to keep him from better prison conditions”.
As he fights to properly launch an urgent application against the department of correctional services – claiming torturous prison treatment – the same department let slip in its responses that a new plan by Krejcir was seemingly foiled over the festive season.
Krejcir remains at the centre of numerous criminal cases in SA, including charges of conspiracy to kill forensic consultant Paul O’Sullivan and high-ranking police officer Colonel Nkosana Ximba, and alleged involvement in the murder of suspected Bedfordview drug kingpin Sam Issa. He is also still wanted in the Czech Republic after being convicted in absentia for a series of criminal and civil cases there.
To date, he has only been convicted on charges of drug dealing and attempted murder, and is serving a 34-year sentence.
Krejcir has spent the past eight months trying to argue an urgent application in the Johannesburg High Court, claiming in his founding papers his conditions behind bars are a violation of his human rights. From lack of access to medication and psychiatric treatment, “de facto solitary confinement” to a lack of an orthopaedic mattress, Krejcir has repeatedly claimed he is being tortured, particularly at Leeuwkop prison in Gauteng.
However, his attempts to fully argue this application have stalled since April last year. According to his lawyer, Jeff Mendelson, the case was meant to be heard in December, but a last-minute affidavit submitted by the state set the case back a further two months. Mendelson said Krejcir had also been transferred to the Kuthama Sinthumule prison in Limpopo over the festive season, deeply worrying the Czech’s family, who claimed they were not informed.
He has since been moved back to Leeuwkop prison.
A written complaint by Krejcir, submitted to the presiding judge regarding the delay in his case, resulted in the state attorney revealing Krejcir had allegedly once again tried to escape from custody.
The letter, written by TJ Mpulo, reads: “We are advised in this regard that on or about 11 December 2018 our clients [department of correctional services officials] received information from reliable sources in consultation with the South African Police that there was a plan underway and/or about to be executed for the Applicant (Krejcir) to escape from lawful custody during the festive period.”
Mpulo then confirms that the police investigation is at a “very advanced and sensitive stage”.
Mendelson maintains the claims are yet another attempt to make his client appear as though he has “unlimited resources” and “able to get out at any time”.
He said his client believed the newest claim of an escape was simply an attempt to delay the urgent application proceedings further.
Correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo confirmed Krejcir had been moved over the festive season.
“Reports of planned escapes whether true or false emerge almost daily. DCS does work with other entities in the criminal justice system, and we are able to share information or be informed when there are plans meted against the correctional system. The department cannot disclose the number of attempts to escape by inmate Radovan Krejcir as security around him remains tight and critical.
“A well-documented attempt to escape was in September 2015, while he was incarcerated at Zonderwater Correctional Facility. He will soon appear in court for this attempt,” he added.
Nxumalo denied Krejcir’s claims of mistreatment.
According to SAPS spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili, the police were unable to comment on the investigation into the most recent alleged escape attempt, instead referring queries to the department of correctional services.