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Katsimberis application for exception dismissed

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BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

A HARARE magistrate yesterday dismissed an application for exception filed by property developer, George Katsimberis, who is facing fraud charges.

Katsimberis allegedly duped a local property developer of close to US$1 million in a joint venture to build cluster houses in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb.

In dismissing the application, magistrate Letwin Rwodzi ruled that Katsimberis raised triable issues in his application.

She said the developer submitted a lot of documents which were evidence that could be used against him.

Rwodzi said Katsimberis should not submit the documents through the backdoor under the guise of an exception, but should explain in a trial how those documents were acquired.

“All the documents submitted constitute evidence where the State cannot use them before trial if the exception is granted,” Rwodzi ruled.

After the ruling, the State called its first witness Simbarashe Kadye to testify.

But Katsimberis lawyer, Tendai Biti, objected and filed an application for postponement, saying he needed to study the court ruling.

He said his client had a right to fair trial.

Biti further said his client might consider applying for recusal of the presiding magistrate.

But prosecutor Michael Reza said there was no law that said if an accused person had his two applications dismissed, they would seek the recusal of a magistrate.

Reza pleaded for the trial to continue arguing that “justice delayed is justice denied”.

Rwodzi, however, ruled in favour of Biti saying she was honouring Katsimberis’ right to a fair trial by allowing him to study her ruling.

The matter was postponed to August 3 for trial.

Follow Desmond on Twitter @DChingarande1

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