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AG sucked into diamonds saga

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The Attorney-General’s Office has been accused of refusing to release Canadile Miners’ audited financial records demanded in the ongoing High Court trial of former executives accused of defrauding government in a diamond mining deal.

Canadile was a joint venture between the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and Core Mining that ran a mine in Chiadzwa.

Core Mining director Lovemore Kurotwi and former ZMDC chief executive Dominic Mubaiwa are accused of causing the government to suffer a $2 billion investment potential prejudice over the deal. Yesterday High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu postponed judgment on the case to September 10.

He is expected to decide on whether the matter should proceed without the required financial records or issue an order compelling the State to avail the financial records. On Monday, Justice Bhunu asked the defence to provide the State with a list of what it required, to enable them to cross-examine the State witness, former Canadile finance manager, Simbisai Wilfred Munemo.

Both Kurotwi and Mubaiwa’s lawyers, Beatrice Mtetwa and Advocate Lewis Uriri, told Justice Bhunu that the State had refused to comply.
“We have not yet been provided with the documents we requested and the State has produced another summary report without any documents that we requested,” Mtetwa said yesterday.

The defence had sought, among others, a board resolution appointing auditing firm Grant Thornton, as auditors for Canadile Miners, a form which sets out the directorship of Canadile Miners at the relevant period, all the source documents from which the unsigned Grant Thornton report was compiled and monthly diamond production statistics. Advocate Uriri said: “An actual prejudice of $2 billion is alleged in the indictments, the documents of original entry from which the financial statements and audits were prepared become relevant to the assessment of the prejudice alleged.”

However, chief law officer Chris Mutangadura accused the defence of clandestinely making a request for further particulars while disguising it as an objection. Mutangadura argued that Canadile Miners no longer existed and the information requested by the defence was not available.

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