Biti loses application to restart trial

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Tendai Biti

By Desmond Chingarande

LAWYER and CCC vice-president Tendai Biti  has lost his bid for a fresh trial under another magistrate and prosecutor after accusing magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro and Michael Reza of bias.

The opposition official is being charged with assaulting Russian national Tatiana Aleshima outside the Harare Magistrates Courts in 2020.

His trial has stalled on several occasions as he accused the two court offficials of being openly hostile and biased against him.

But Justice Tawanda Chitapi ruled that there was no evidence that the magistrate and prosecutor were  biased.

The judge said higher courts were very reluctant to intervene in matters that were before a lower court.

“If every decision by a presiding officer that one party disagreed with could go to a higher court on review or appeal while the matter was still in progress, then delays would be intolerable. In rare cases where someone’s rights could be seriously infringed otherwise, a higher court could intervene, but this is very rare,” Chitapi ruled.

Justice Chitapi ruled that the trial must resume before Muchuchuti-Guwuriro and Reza.

 The judge said Biti was free to engage any legal representative of his choice, including Alec Muchadehama who has represented him so far.