A Czech businessman who settled in South Africa and started a criminal empire there has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for attempted murder and kidnapping. Radovan Krejcir kept a smile on his face after the proceedings, which went down in spectacular fashion. He even threatened the judge in full view of reporters, telling him he knew where he lived.
Krejcir’s criminal career and time behind bars has been filled with drama and violence. The 47-year-old crime boss was convicted in South Africa last year of torturing and attempting to murder drug trafficker Bheki Lukhele, who he suspected of having stolen 25 kilograms of methamphetamines.
Lukhele’s brother had allegedly made off with the meth and, as a result, Lukhele was taken off the streets by Krejcir and his people to extract information. Krejcir tried his best to make his victim talk by pouring boiling water over the man’s head.
With the guilty verdict in place, there was not much left for Krejcir to do. That didn’t stop him from trying though. He tried to escape from prison and custody several times and when all those attempts failed he decided to take it to the extreme by, allegedly, hiring a European hitman who would fly into South Africa to murder the judge and a forensic investigator connected to Krejcir’s case.
The South African press reported that the hitman visited Krejcir at Kokstad prison, claiming to be the Czech mob boss' brother. That sounded plausible if it weren’t for the fact that Krejcir is an only child.
With authorities aware of a possible assassination plot, they upped security in and around the courthouse. Still, the drama did not end. This past Monday there was a bomb threat as well, causing the courthouse to be evacuated.
Regardless of the threats, the presiding judge refused to budge. Yesterday, he laid down his sentence. But before he could do so, in court, Krejcir told him: “You are biased, unfair, dishonest, proven untruthful from record.” Then, he said, “I believe you live in Bedfordview.”
A threat if there ever was one. In full view of reporters, police, and the court.
In turn, the judge knows where Krejcir lives as well. In prison. For the next 35 years. Upon sentencing he told Krejcir and the public that, “I must also remind myself that the purpose of punishment is to punish.”
The Czech gangster still faces other charges, including one for murder. Czech authorities are also keen to put Krejcir in a cell as they convicted him in absentia in 2014 of tax fraud.
Several of Krejcir’s codefendants have been given hefty sentences as well. One, Desai Luphondo, was also sentenced to 35 years, while four others, including three who had been members of an elite police unit, were given sentences of 15 years each.
It is doubtful we’ve heard the last from Krejcir. Even from behind bars he manages to attract the world media. Recently, he made headlines when he befriended disgraced Paralympian Oscar Pistorius while both were doing time.
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