SABC News - Suspects linked to Krejcir case claim torture by police:Monday 13 January 2014

Suspects linked to Krejcir case claim torture by police

Monday 13 January 2014 20:27

Noma Bolani

The case of four people linked to Czech fugitive Rodovan Krejcir was postponed to next week Monday.

The court case of four people linked to Czech fugitive Rodovan Krejcir was postponed to next week Monday. (REUTERS)

Two of the four people accused of planning a hit on specialist investigator and a senior police officer investigating the attempted murder and kidnapping charges against Czech fugitive Rodovan Krejcir have claimed they were tortured by police after their arrests.

Siboniso Miya and Owen Serero were allegedly hired by Krecjir to kill top cop Nkosana "Killer" Ximba and forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan.  They appeared in the Alexandra Magistrate's Court on Monday together with other co-accused Zodumiso Biyela and Jacob Nare.  

The courtroom, where the four were expected to appear, was guarded by more than 12 officers armed with rifles.

At first, journalists and the accused's lawyers were kept in the dark about which courtroom they'll be appearing, with prosecutors saying they had not received the docket.

After waiting for more than an hour, the case was finally called in Regional Court 2, but police barred the media from entering. They said only family members would be allowed in.

The media was later allowed into the courtroom but Magistrate Renier Boshoff, however, said no cameras would be allowed in and no photographs of the suspects will be taken in court.

Miya and Serero through their lawyers accused police of assault and torture.  It emerged that Serero was hung from a rod to compel him to make a statement. Another accused claimed he was forced into making a statement without his attorney being present.

Magistrate Boshoff said he could not see any visible signs of assault. The lawyers said they would open a case against the police.

All four accused face charges of conspiracy to commit murder, two counts of theft and possession of a stolen vehicle, armed robbery, and two counts of possession of an unlicensed firearm.

One of the men was also linked to the kidnapping and attempted murder case for which Krejcir is being investigated. Three of them were arrested in Sandton on Thursday after police received information of the alleged murder plot. The fourth suspect was arrested on Saturday.

Meanwhile the National Prosecuting Authority says it will oppose bail.  The case was postponed to next week Monday. Spokesperson Nathi Mncube told reporters outside court that the postponement is to allow both sides time to "iron out a few issues".  

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