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Court to guide Biti on irrelevant evidence

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Court to guide Biti on irrelevant evidence


Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro has concurred with the State that Tendai Biti must not submit evidence that is irrelevant in his application for referral of his assault case to the Constitutional Court.

Biti through his lawyer submitted that his rights were infringed from the day he was arrested.

In his application, Biti mentions an agreement signed between Augur Investments during the Airport road construction and certain Zanu PF members which the court ruled as irrelevant.

Mrs Guwuriro ruled that it is now a Constitutional Court requirement that an applicant must submit oral evidence on what Constitutional rights he claims were infringed.

She said a court cannot stop the accused from submitting these.

“The State also applied that the accused be given limited time to make his submissions. Only the superior courts have that right.

“The lower courts do not have the power to set time frames within which an accused must make his submissions,” she ruled.

However, the court agreed with the state that the accused must not submit evidence that is irrelevant.

“The court will therefore be guiding the accused whenever he submits evidence that is irrelevant,” ruled Mrs Guwuriro.

Senior prosecutor Mr Michael Reza had told the court that Biti’s reasons for the application had absolutely nothing to do with the assault case.

“The accused is trying to bring in politics and political names in an assault case which is irrelevant,” said Mr Reza.

Mr Reza said there is absolutely no reason for referral of this matter to the apex court.

“This is a purely criminal case but the accused wants to bring in politics where it doesn’t fit.

Mr Reza said the court is not a political field.


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