Regional magistrate Never Katiyo, has dismissed an application by the Attorney-General’s Office seeking to reopen a state case before he delivered his determination on Mliswa’s application for discharge at the close of the State case.
In his brief ruling to the State’s intended application, Katiyo said the State’s position was tantamount to influencing the court’s decision. He said the State could not make a new application while another application was pending.
“The State’s procedure is wrong and a
misdirection on a point of law,” Katiyo ruled before postponing Mliswa’s judgement to May 16.
Principal law officer Godwin Nyasha last Thursday, submitted his application seeking to call the investigating officer whose evidence he had earlier considered irrelevant before closing the State case.
This new development came about after regional magistrate Katiyo dismissed an application by the State to call two lawyers, Archiford Rutanhira from Scanlen and Holderness and Gerald Nqobile Mlotshwa from GN Mlotshwa and Company, to give evidence against Mliswa and his colleagues.
Mliswa’s lawyer, Charles Chinyama, did not take the new application by the State lightly as he castigated the police for allegedly interfering with the AG’s Office.
“The police should go back to school if they want to prosecute. The law says the AG’s Office is independent and should not be interfered with. It is not that the State has new evidence to proffer to the court but it is acting under instructions from the police,” Chinyama said.
“The State consulted for over a month before closing its case but surprisingly they now want to call the investigating officer. The very relevant section which allowed the state to make such an application was repealed when the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act came into being.”
Mliswa is accused of fraud or alternatively extortion in a case where he is accused of trying to wrest a vehicle accessories company from Paul Westwood.
However, Mliswa denied the accusations and urged the court to treat Westwood’s evidence with caution and said Westwood was a self-confessed drug addict.
He told the court he owned shares in the company and accused Westwood of trying to deprive him of the rightful ownership to his shares in the company.