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‘Biti’s assault trial may never kick off’

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‘Biti’s assault trial may never kick off’


ACTING deputy prosecutor-general Michael Reza has said Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) interim vice-president Tendai Biti’s trial for allegedly assaulting a Russian national might never resume because Biti keeps postponing it.

Biti is accused of verbally assaulting Russian, Tatiana Aleshina at the Harare Magistrates’ Court two years ago.

The trial is yet to start because Biti keeps filing endless applications to delay the trial, Reza told the court.

This was after Biti’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama on Friday filed another application for postponement of the trial, saying the State should provide him with the transcript of proceedings so that he files an application for referral of the matter to the Constitutional

However, Reza opposed the application saying the matter should go to trial because it had taken too long to take place.

Reza further said magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro should stamp her authority by stopping Biti from making any further applications, adding that he should approach the High Court for recourse, not lower courts.

“Every single application that the accused person is entitled to has been made by the accused person in this court. Numerous applications for postponement have been granted at the instigation of the defence. The record of proceedings does not stop these proceedings. This is the time for this court to order the commencement of this trial, otherwise it will not kick off during our lifetime,” Reza said.

Biti had asked Muchuchuti-Guwuriro to recuse herself in the matter saying she was biased after she dismissed two of his applications for her recusal.

Aggrieved by the dismissal of his application, Biti approached the High Court, but Justice Tawanda Chitapi dismissed the review saying there was no bias shown by Muchuchuti-Guwuriro.

Justice Chitapi ordered the matter to proceed with at the lower court, but Biti filed three more applications that postponed the case.NewsDay.

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