HomeNewsBiti, prosecutor faceoff in assault trial

Biti, prosecutor faceoff in assault trial

BY BEAUTY NYUKE  

PROSECUTORS handling the assault case of MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti have accused the former Harare East Member of Parliament of deliberately trying to delay trial by piling “unnecessary applications”.

Biti is accused of assaulting a Russian investor, Tatiana Aleshina, during an altercation outside the Harare Magistrates Court in November last year.

Aleshina is involved in a property dispute with Biti’s client George Katsimberis.

The former Finance Minister, through his lawyer Alec Muchadehama wants senior prosecutor Michael Reza to recuse himself on the matter alleging he has personal interests in the matter, a position prosecutors are opposed to.

The trial was supposed to commence yesterday.

Biti argues he will not get a fair trial if Reza is allowed to prosecute.

Muchadehama initially applied for the trial to be postponed to a date in July for him to obtain documents needed to strengthen his case against Reza arguing the senior prosecutor had a personal hatred against Biti.

Harare magistrate Vongai Guwiriro dismissed the application saying it was not in the interests of justice to postpone the matter on the grounds of obtaining documents which can be obtained in two hours.

Guwiriro postponed the matter to 1415hrs yesterday to allow Muchadehama to obtain the said documents but when the court resumed, Muchadehama applied for another postponement for another postponement.

Prosecutor Tafara Chirambira, who is handling the matter together with Reza, opposed the postponement saying Muchadehama was just trying to delay the trial.

“I don’t know which law is being used in this application and therefore it should be dismissed. I don’t harbour any personal hatred against Biti and I want it to be placed on record that I have nothing personal against him but I am just doing my work,” Reza said.

“Muchadehama said I am a very senior person and cannot be seen prosecuting an assault matter, but he also is a senior lawyer who cannot deal with a matter of assault,” he said.

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