Diamond dealer, Chiadzwa seeks to overturn conviction

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JAILED diamond dealer, Newman Chiadzwa is now pushing for a speedy hearing, at the High Court of Zimbabwe, of his appeal against his recent conviction and sentence by a lower court.

“We are now working with the clerk of court and the registry at the High Court to ensure a fast hearing of the appeal,” said Chiadzwa’s lawyer, Chris Ndlovu.

Ndlovu spoke days after the High Court had thrown out an application seeking the release of Chiadzwa on bail pending his appeal hearing.

Chiadzwa was sentenced to an effective five-year jail term and a US$132 000 fine after he was convicted of illegal possession of 8kg of diamonds. He appealed against both conviction and sentence.

Mutare regional magistrate, Billard Musakwa, denied him bail prompting the self-styled chief to approach the High Court seeking his freedom pending the appeal hearing.

But High Court judge, Justice Bharat Patel, refused to grant him bail on the grounds he was likely to abscond once released.

The court turned down Chiadzwa’s offer of houses in Warren Park and Bluff Hill as surety.

Chiadzwa hogged the limelight when he volunteered damning information to a visiting Kimberly Processing team about the human rights violations at Chiadzwa.

He led the team to what he said was a “mass grave” containing hundreds of bodies of illegal miners and dealers who had been allegedly shot by security forces during a crackdown.

This set him on a collision course with President Robert Mugabe’s government which was keen to conceal any evidence of rights violations at Chiadzwa.