Johannesburg – Czech gangster Radovan Krejcir fears he will die in prison as his mental and physical health continues to deteriorate behind bars.
This is what his lawyer Nastasja Otrebski claims after visiting her client in Leeuwkop maximum security prison this week.
While Otrebski was unable to go into detail about his health, she said Krejcir’s health has deteriorated in recent months.
She claims that Krejcir is being refused medical treatment in the maximum security prison.
“He is not receiving medical treatment because it is either refused or ignored when he asks him to see a doctor or be taken to a hospital. When he is taken to the hospital, which only happens if a court intervenes, if the court does it at all, he is barely looked at and he does not know the outcome of his findings.
“Recently, after being told to go to the hospital for many months, he was rushed to the hospital. He has hardly been examined and asked about his findings, which the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has so far ignored.
“They did this before when something was seriously wrong and they didn’t tell him his conditions, which resulted in Radovan’s going to court and forcing the DCS to disclose his health.
“When he see a doctor, his consultations are not private. It is extremely embarrassing for him. He is purposely placed next to a kettle that has given off a lot of black smoke into his cell and has caused breathing problems. “
The 52-year-old was convicted of attempted murder, kidnapping and drug trafficking in 2015 and sentenced to 35 years in prison.
He has spent the past few years in Leeuwkop Prison.
Otrebski claims that her clients’ conditions in prison are “very bad”.
“His fundamental rights have been severely violated and it seems like nobody cares or is ready to do anything about it. There are nine different court orders that have been ignored by the DCS.
“He has no access to his legal representatives, which leads them to withdraw due to a lack of instructions. If by some miracle he is allowed to speak or advise his lawyers, they are useless because they are not privileged. This leads to the many reasons why he did not receive a fair trial. “
She has claimed that her client received “luxury treatment” in prison.
“He has just asked for his fundamental rights to be protected, which has not yet happened. The DCS say he is lying and it is not true and that they are treating him the same. This is an obvious lie. Unfortunately, Radovan is not doing well. “
Otrebski claims that her client is suffering from inhumane conditions.
“He is constantly in solitary confinement, which is against various court orders, medical reports and the law. He cannot socialize with anyone. The size of his cell is well below the minimum standards. It has to be a 5.5 meter square, which it doesn’t.
“He’s in a tiny cell where he doesn’t even have access to a basin or drinking water. His light in his cell is on around the clock. He has no access to a good night’s sleep. Officials laugh at him when he asks to turn off the lights.
“He has no form of privacy because he has a mirror on the ceiling to watch his every move. He can’t go to the bathroom without being laughed at. There is no natural light and insufficient ventilation.
“He also does not have access to reading materials like other inmates, including the Criminal Procedure Act, the Prison Act, the case law, the books or even my legal documents, because it will then be removed.”
According to Otrebski, her client is not asking for preferential treatment in prison, but rather to be treated equally like any other inmate in Leeuwkop.
“Other inmates can walk around the prison, they can talk to each other, he is not allowed to talk to anyone. He has nothing to entertain him. He’s just stuck in a cage.
“When brought to justice, he cannot speak to anyone and is tied up like an abused dog. All he asks is to be treated with some form of dignity. He has no family here to visit or check on him. “
Otrebski says she has spoken to DCS officials several times about “inhumane conditions” of her customers, but nothing has been done so far.
Meanwhile, the Department of Correctional Services has described the allegations as “untrue and unfounded.”
“We are getting used to these allegations made by those who reportedly represent inmate Radovan Krejcir,” said spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo.
“The Department of Correctional Services is tasked with helping to maintain and protect a just, peaceful, and safe society by enforcing judicial penalties and keeping criminals in safe custody in humane conditions.
“As a result, the responsibility of the correctional services is not to punish offenders, but primarily to correct the offensive behavior in order to facilitate the achievement of rehabilitation.”
Nxumalo also denied claims that Krejcir was denied time with his legal representatives.
“Inmate Radovan Krejcir worked with legal representatives. What was disputed, however, was when Radovan Krejcir tried to telephone a legal representative based in the Czech Republic. This was refused for several reasons. A lawyer must provide proof of his or her identity and status as a lawyer at the request of the Head of the Correctional Center.
“Such a consultation must only take place between 8:00 am and 3:30 pm, and the consultation must take place within sight, but out of earshot, of a correctional officer. It is a policy violation to consult an inmate over the phone without evidence that they are speaking to an attorney.
Nxumalo also denied claims that Krejcir was in solitary confinement.
“Radovan Krejcir was never in solitary confinement because we no longer have such cells in South Africa. Krejcir is using a cell previously used in Leeuwkop and he needs to be monitored without depriving him of his privacy rights to make sure he is safe and secure. “
He added that Krejcir was treated like any other prisoner in Leeuwkop.
“Radovan Krejcir is an inmate and must be treated according to the prescribed measures. Inmates can only keep what is legally allowed and excess items must be removed when not in use. The center has neither removed his legal documents nor denied him preparation for his ongoing trial.
“Such allegations were previously made against the previous head of the center. He remains classified as a high risk inmate. This requires safety measures that apply to that particular category of occupant. These measures are in line with the Law on Correctional Services as all inmates are treated humanely. “
The Saturday star