Property developer seeks prosecutor’s recusal

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BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
HARARE property developer George Katsimberis yesterday filed an application for the recusal of the prosecutor in a case where he is facing fraud charges involving US$1 million after he allegedly built a showroom without the approval of the city council.

Through his lawyer Charles Warara, Katsimberis said Michael Reza was hostile towards him.

“We are applying for the recusal of Reza. The transcript pertaining to this matter shows evidence about the conduct of Reza. Why is he taking sides against Katsimberis?” Warara said.

In response, Reza said Katsimberis was ignorant of court processes.

“All court applications are referred to law or Act and on that basis alone, this application ought to fail. The State will not respond to a social conversation disguised as a court application,” he argued.

“He wants me removed because he knows I now know the building plan was not approved. He accused me of taking sides, he wanted to invite me to his side of the accused person. Your worship, I cannot do that and I won’t do that. I am a prosecutor and will prosecute in line with guidelines. When I prosecute, I prosecute hard and when I play, I play hard, but fair and that cannot be a reason for my recusal.”

Magistrate Letwin Rwodzi postponed the matter to February 24 for ruling.

Katsimberis allegedly entered into an agreement with a local property company, West Properties, to build cluster houses in Borrowdale. He then allegedly built a showroom without an approved plan from the City of Harare.

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