Serbian hitman will argue he’s too ill to be held in prison and should be given bail
ALLEGED Serbian hitman Dobrosav Gavric will return to the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court in a matter of weeks to argue he is too ill to be held in prison, and should be freed on bail.
Gavric, 38, was sentenced to 35 years in jail in Serbia for assassinating the bodyguard of former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic. He was driving underworld boss Cyril Beeka’s BMW X5 when Beeka was shot dead. He will apply for bail on January 10.
Meanwhile, his Serbian wife, Danielle, and the couple’s two daughters of seven and five – who fled Serbia with him and have been living in South Africa since 2008 – will be allowed to visit him daily while he is held in the Sea Point police cells.
At the Hawks offices in Bellville on Tuesday morning, Gavric and his legal team arrived to meet the investigating officers in the case, Lieutenant-colonel Mike Barkhuizen and Captain Paul Hendricks of the Hawks.
He was taken into custody at 10.30am and charged with falsifying identification and passport documents to enter South Africa under the false name of Sasa Kovacevic in 2008.
On Wednesday morning, he appeared in court to face a charge of fraud.
Gavric’s legal team said he had several grounds on which he could be released on bail.
His attorney, Juan Smuts, said the crimes for which he had been found guilty in Serbia had no bearing on the fraud charge bail hearing. Although the court would take note of it, his previous sentence would not be taken into account when his bail application was considered.
Other grounds included that Gavric had suffered neurological damage to his leg when a bodyguard shot him during the assassination of Milosevic. He needed intravenous antibiotics and “it will be dangerous for him to be held in a cell because he needs specialised medical care”.
Medical specialist Dr Roger Phillips was to give evidence about Gavric’s health during the bail hearing. He is expected to say Gavric’s neural system is dying and could give in at any time.
In addition, Smuts pointed out, Gavric had a fixed address. There was no chance he would flee South Africa.
Smuts said Gavric had so far complied with all the bail conditions in his cocaine case and had had more than enough opportunity to flee.
Last month Gavric was taken into custody and charged with possession of 5g of cocaine allegedly found in his bag in Beeka’s vehicle after the drive-by shooting in March.
He was released on R1 500 bail and will appear again in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on January 30.
His legal team would argue further that Gavric could not interfere with State witnesses as the witnesses were overseas.
Gavric skipped Serbia just before he was sentenced in absentia for killing Zeljko “Arkan” Raznatovic, a Serbian warlord and former bodyguard of Milosevic, together with two other men in a hotel lobby in Belgrade in 2000.
Known in Serbia as the “Arkan slayer”, he is believed to be one of the most dangerous fugitives to hide out in South Africa.
His real identify was discovered only in June, three months after he was shot in the arm and chest during the attack on Beeka.
Gavric spent a month recovering in hospital.
ALLEGED ASSASSIN: Dobrosav Gavric, sought in Serbia for triple murder.
AT HOME: Parergon, the apartment block in which Gavric lived in Cape Town’s Waterfront.