Prinsloo now probed for sex crimes in Belarus

Hanti Otto

Police are investigating Dirk Prinsloo's possible involvement in sexual crimes similar to those for which he evaded trial in South Africa after he skipped bail.

Lieutenant-Colonel Mikhail Starikovich, head of Interpol's national central bureau in Belarus, yesterday confirmed that the investigation period was prolonged because of information that "there were several episodes connected with sexual crimes, probably committed by Prinsloo in Minsk".

Some of these allegations referred to "sexual perversions with former girlfriends", Belarusian authorities said.

As part of the investigation into Prinsloo, a "special psychological forensic examination" will be conducted to determine whether he is mentally fit to stand trial.

Since his arrest in Baranovichi on June 12 this year after a failed bank robbery, further investigations against Prinsloo seemed to expose more possible charges against him. Soon after his arrest in an internet shop in Minsk, he was charged with attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances.

It then emerged that he would also be charged with "hooliganism", as it was alleged that he had beaten a woman in the street while he was running away from the bank. As Belarusian police delved deeper, it appeared that Prinsloo had also stolen jewellery belonging to one of his girlfriends in a "fraudulent manner".

Prinsloo, 39, a former Pretoria advocate, skipped bail in 2005 when the Pretoria High Court granted him permission to travel to Russia for "business". He was on trial with his former girlfriend, advocate Cezanne "Barbie" Visser, facing 15 charges pertaining to child pornography and sexual acts on children.

Prinsloo never returned to South Africa. He was put on Interpol's most wanted list. It is expected that his trial will not start before the end of November.



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