State Witness Cannot Be Accused Person On Same Set Of Facts, Biti Fumes

The land dispute between land developer Georgios Katsimberis and controversial businessman Kenneth Raydon Sharpe owned Pokugara properties took another twist with the former’s defence lawyer Tendai Biti seeking an order to have the case struck off the roll.

Katsimberis is chief witness in a case of malicious damage to property between the State and Pokugara Properties while he is also accused on another matter with the same set of facts.

Biti argued before Harare Magistrate Sandra Mupindu that his client must not be the accused person at the same time being the chief witness in other matters before the Courts which involves the same charges.

“My lady the accused is a land developer, sometime in 2016 he formed a joint venture company with the complainant who is a fugitive from justice, at large and land baron, Kenneth Raydon Sharpe, Pokugara Properties managing director John Michael Van Blerk and have brought up charges to my client who is also the chief witness hence there are similar cases for them before the Courts,” said Biti.

He said his client was also the principal witness in another case of perjury against Michael Van Blerk (Pokugara properties Managing Director) and City of Harare.

“Once again the accused person is the principal witness that matter, so the position we now have my lady is that on the same set of facts that the accused person (Georgios Katsimberis) brought a complaint against the witness in the present trial namely Michael Van Blerk, Simbarashe Kadye and City of Harare, what he developed without approved plans, he is also the witness on the same facts in the trial against Michael Van Blerk 1 for perjury and 2 for malicious damage to property.

“So the application my lady which we have made before the Court is that they have breached the accused person’s Constitutional right in particular his right to equal protection of law defined by the section 55 subsection 1 of the Constitution and his right to a fair trial defined in terms of section 65 that the same accused person to be a witness in same case and then an accused person on the same facts, it can’t happen even in Zimbabwe despite our compromised standards.” he said.

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