EX-Kingstons Holdings chief executive Brian Sedze, who is facing a $136 000 fraud trial at the Harare Magistrates’ Court, has accused both the trial magistrate and the prosecutor of bias and requested that they recuse themselves from the matter.
Sedze accused regional magistrate Simon Rogers Kachambwa and prosecutor Michael Reza of being interested parties in his 35 counts fraud case.
Part of his 15-page application for recusal read: “I make this application on the basis that both the court and the trial prosecutor have shown actual bias against me and because of this, my right to a fair trial has been infringed and will continue to be infringed if the status quo remains.”
Sedze further said the basis of his application was that Kachambwa had “proven to be biased” in the matter after allowing Reza to reopen his State case without giving a determination on an earlier application for discharge which he (Sedze) had made at the close of the State case.
“After the close of the State case, I verily believed that it had failed to prove a prima facie case against me and accordingly I made an application for discharge in terms of section 198 (3) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act,” Sedze said.
“On Monday November 11, 2013, I attended court and confirmed that my application was received by both the trial prosecutor and the magistrate. Reasonably, I expected the trial prosecutor to respond either orally or in writing and for the court to make a ruling on that application.
“To my utter shock and amazement, when the trial prosecutor saw my application he did not respond directly to it, but requested the court to be allowed to reopen his State case. It is apparent that the prosecutor noted that his case had loopholes and wanted to plug (them) by reopening his case.”
Sedze said the magistrate never proffered any reasons why he had not given a determination to his application but chose to grant the State the opportunity to re-open its case.
Sedze further said he had glaring evidence that the magistrate and the prosecutor were acting in common purpose to ensure his conviction, hence his application for the two to recuse themselves.