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Krejcir case: Hawks officer arrested

A Hawks officer was taken into custody on the East Rand just after 8am this morning.

Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir was arrested at his Bedfordview home on 22 November. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News has learned a member of the Hawks has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping and assault case against Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir.

The officer was taken into custody on the East Rand just after 8am this morning.

The officer is believed to be a member of the Germiston Organised Crime Unit, which reports to Colonel Frans Steyn.

Last week, Colonel Steyn admitted he received a R400,000 loan from a company controlled by Krejcir.

Reports have also suggested that more high-ranking police officers would be arrested this week for allegedly being on Krejci's pay roll.

But police have downplayed these reports.

Krejcir was arrested on Friday and is facing charges of attempted murder and kidnapping relating to an incident which took place in June.

Yesterday, the South Gauteng High Court granted Krejcir an order to be moved to a private hospita l, finding failure to do so could lead to organ failure and cardiac arrest.

_The New Age _newspaper is reporting that several top police officers are expected to be arrested today for allegedly supplying Krejcir with sensitive information as well as protection from investigations.

But police spokesperson Soloman Makgale has told Eyewitness News that this is pure speculation.

This is despite National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega confirming on Saturday that the SAPS was looking into the possibility of police involvement.

One officer, Colonel Frans Steyn, has admitted to receiving a R400,000 loan from a company controlled by Krejcir.

The Hawks have since confirmed that Steyn is paying the loan back and says it isn't considered a bribe because he wasn't involved in any investigation involving Krejcir.

POLICE MUM ON KREJCIR THREAT

Meanwhile, the police and prosecutors won't reveal details about a threat received against Krejcir which saw him appear in court yesterday under heavy guard.

The court building was cleared and a tactical team brought in to oversee his appearance.

Krejcir's lawyer Piet du Plessis said claims of machine guns or explosives being hidden in video cameras was just 'window-dressing' aimed at creating grounds for prosecutors to oppose bail.

He said there was no increased security when he visited his client over the weekend.

"Why didn't they take the precautions then and furthermore, why did they allow 40 or 50 journalists with the biggest cameras I have ever seen into the court building yesterday without stopping them."

KREJCIR TO REMAIN IN HOSPITAL

Krejcir is likely to remain under heavy guard while being treated in hospital.

His lawyers claim he was tortured by the police after he was arrested.

They claim he was suffocated with a plastic bag and shocked repeatedly with a taser gun in an isolated area while surrounded by around 20 police officers.

Judge Ramarumo Monama earlier said the critical issue is Krejcir's health and not the torture allegations.

"The approach of the state in this matter was unfortunate because it concentrated primarily on the peripheral issues."

The Czech businessman's other lawyer Ulrich Roux said his client is seriously ill.

"Our client is in a serious medical condition and needs proper treatment."

Krejcir is expected to remain in hospital until his next court appearance on Monday.

The state has been ordered to pay Krejcir's legal fees.

NET CLOSING IN ON KREJCIR

Meanwhile, Krejcir's arrest comes as the Czech fugitive is fighting battles on several fronts with law enforcement authorities appearing to be closing in on him and public frustration growing.

He has been in the country for six years and was previously arrested on an Interpol red notice for using a fake passport.

Four of his associates have been killed in the past month and his Money Point shop in Bedfordview was blown up.

In July, he survived a bizarre assassination attempt when remote-controlled shotguns opened fire on him from behind the number plate of a parked car outside the same shop.

The South African Revenue Service has frozen his assets and a multi-disciplinary task team has been investigating multiple underworld murders he has been linked to.

He is also due to appear in court next week to fight ongoing attempts to extradite him.