Disgraced SA lawyer Dirk Prinsloo's whereabouts still unknown
The department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) was unable on Wednesday to confirm if SA fugitive Dirk Prinsloo had been released from detention in Belarus, eastern Europe.
"We are monitoring the situation and trying to get confirmation. We don't have any official confirmation that he has been released," Dirco spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya told TimesLIVE on Wednesday.
Netwerk24 reported that Prinsloo had been detained for nearly a year at Belarus's migration department in a temporary isolation cell, after he was released on parole.
"When a person is released, we get a letter saying that this person who comes from your country has been released. That letter has not arrived," said Mabaya.
"We have heard rumours that he has been released but we never got any official confirmation nor were contacted by the Bulgarian authorities," Mabaya said.
Prinsloo was sentenced to 13 years in prison in Belarus in February 2010 for theft, robbery and "thuggery".
He and his partner, Cézanne Visser, were arrested in South Africa in 2002 on charges of fraud, rape, indecent assault and the manufacturing of child pornography.
Initially the charges were dropped, but the case was later re-opened.
Prinsloo and Visser - nicknamed "Advocate Barbie" - went on trial in January 2005 in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
A warrant of arrest was issued for Prinsloo after he failed to return from a trip to Russia.
However, he was later arrested in Belarus in June 2009.
In February 2011, Visser was found guilty on 11 charges and sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
Visser was released on parole in August 2013.