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Biti arrest warrant cancelled

by Staff reporter
21 Sep 2021 at 19:54hrs | Views
A warrant for the arrest of MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti was cancelled on Monday, a few hours after it was issued.

In obtaining the warrant, the National Prosecuting Authority said Biti had failed to appear in court for his trial accused of assaulting a Russian woman in November last year. Biti disputes this, and instead accuses prosecutor Michael Reza of acting like a "political commissar" in what he says was a desperation to get him locked up.

Biti, a lawyer, said: "Despite the fact that I was at court by 8.30AM, state prosecutor Michael Reza applied for a warrant of arrest against me in my ongoing persecution engineered by land baron Ken Sharpe. This was a prepaid warrant as The Herald was reporting on the same before its issuance.

"In cancelling the warrant, magistrate Stanford Mambanje was critical of the state position and state lies. It is quite clear, the extent of state capture, and the desperate attempt to silence critical alternative voices. We have never been cowards. We never yielded on matters of principle."

Biti said "neither (President Emmerson) Mnangwagwa nor his political commissars masquerading as prosecutors will stop wheels of change."

The warrant had been signed by magistrate Chido Garwe at Reza's request on Monday morning.

Biti told ZimLive that he was due to appear before magistrate Vongai Guriro in Court 14, which is where he was when another court was deciding his fate.

The former finance minister said: "A prosecutor Malvern Mapako, in charge of Court 14, told me to wait in his court for that's where Gurira's matters were being handled in her absence by magistrate (Chipo) Mabhande.

"Prosecutor Reza then sneaked on the record and got a warrant at 9.03AM. To my surprise The Herald had a full story by 9AM. Court theoretically starts at 9AM but you are likely to start at 9.30AM on any given day. For some reason, I decided to go to court early, I was there by 8.30AM."

The charge against Biti relates to an alleged incident following a court hearing on November 30.

Biti, who is a lawyer, was involved in litigation representing George Katsimberis, a client in the Harare Airport Road scandal. Aleshina, whose employer Katsimberis is accused of defrauding, was reportedly whispering information to the prosecution constantly.

Biti voiced a complaint to the magistrate about Aleshina's conduct.

After the court hearing, Aleshina confronted Biti shouting that he should not mention her name.

Aleshina later reported Biti for assault at a police station. Prosecutors say Biti threatened her by pointing a finger at her face, shouting insults at the top of his voice "intending to inspire fear of belief into her mind".

The prosecution says Alishina was later hospitalised at Borrowdale trauma centre as a result of shock from her encounter with the opposition politician.

Biti denied the charge and his party described it as "trumped up" and a "weaponisation of the law" to target party members and officials.

Source - zimlive
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