Locals launch petition to throw Czech fugitive out of South Africa
Recent violent attacks targeting Czech fugitive Radovan Krejčíř in Johannesburg, South Africa, have caused an outcry among local residents. On Tuesday, a bomb explosion at Mr Krejčíř’s shop killed two people, prompting a petition asking the country’s authorities to extradite him to the Czech Republic where he faces jail. Since his arrival in South Africa in 2007, the alleged crime boss has been linked to at least 12 deaths in what is perceived as a struggle for the control of the underworld. I discussed Mr Krejčíř’s situation with the Czech ambassador to South Africa, Blanka Fajkusová.
Would you say Radovan Krejčíř is trying to take over the local crime scene?
“That was the press is saying but as I explained, it is extremely difficult for us to indentify what the truth is.”
Mr Krejčíř is based in Bedfordview, a suburb of Johannesburg. The local organization of one of South African parties, the Democratic Alliance, reportedly launched a petition in support of Mr Krejčíř extradition. Is that true?
“The DA councillor [who started the petition] actually said the South African government should take the threat seriously. But as I said, we haven’t seen the actual text so we don’t know what’s in it or what the procedure would be.”
What’s Mr Krejčíř’s legal situation in South Africa? I understand he faces extradition proceedings which have not yet concluded…
“That’s right. You may know the Czech Republic asked for his extradition already in 2007. The request has been amended several times as his cases in the Czech Republic progressed. The trial here should continue on December 9, and it‘s expected that the judge will deliver a decision. What the decision will be, however, is up to the judge to decide.”
Do you think the recent violence including Tuesday’s deadly blast could play a role in the court’s decision?
If the court decides in favour of extradition, would Mr Krejčíř be handed over immediately?
“He has always used all legal possibilities that were at his disposal including the right to appeal so one would think that he would choose to do the same once again.”