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Court wants Biti to present his defence on assault charges

by Staff reporter
09 Sep 2023 at 07:39hrs | Views
LAWYER and politician Tendai Biti must now present his defence to charges of assault after Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro dismissed his application for discharge at the close of the State case.

The magistrate ruled that the prosecution did prove a prima facie case.

Biti is facing charges of verbally assaulting and threatening business person and investor Mrs Tatiana Aleshina outside Harare Magistrates Court in November 2020.

In her ruling yesterday, the magistrate said it was not in dispute that some kind of drama took place outside court on the day in question with the word "stupid" dominating in all testimonies by State witnesses. The court could not ignore the evidence of the State witnesses.

"The State has managed to prove a prima facie case against the accused, hence he must be put to his defence for the proper administration of justice," ruled Mrs Guwuriro.

The trial was adjourned to September 18.

Biti, through his lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama, had filed for discharge at the close of the State's case, arguing that the charge was defective and that no assault took place.

However, Deputy Prosecutor General Mr Michael Reza opposed the application saying Biti should be put to his defence.

Mr Reza submitted that the State was able to prove a prima facie case against Biti.

He said the section under which Biti was charged requires that there should be evidence showing that the accused person threatened in any manner, to assault the complainant or that there was a possibility that an immediate physical assault was about to take place.

Source - The Herald