Court dismisses property developer’s application for defence particulars

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Court Hammer

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

A HARARE magistrate yesterday dismissed an application by property developer George Katsimberis, who is demanding further particulars in a case where he faces fraud charges involving US$1 million.

Katsimberis, who was being represented by Charles Warara, had said the documents would enable him to prepare his defence.

Some of the documents requested from the State were printouts of pending High Court and Supreme Court cases and agreements between a company called Augur Investments and City of Harare.

But prosecutor Michael Reza opposed the application saying the defence could not seek documents which had nothing to do with the present case.

“The defence wants an agreement of Harare City Council and another separate entity which has nothing to do with this trial. He cannot expect the State to draft his defence outline for him. I will not be looking for an agreement between Harare and Augur Investments and prints,” Reza said.

He said the State had provided all the documents that the prosecution intended to use in the trial.

“We photocopied the plans which the State is alleging were fake. We gave them the documents we are relying on in this matter. If they want those that we believe are not relevant to trial, they can look for them on their own.”

But Warara said the documents were relevant and they were planning to use them in their defence.

Magistrate Letwin Rwodzi ruled that the defence could not force the State to give them documents it did not wish to use in the trial. The magistrate then remanded the matter to March 8 for a ruling on the prosecutor’s recusal.

Katsimberis is accused of duping a property developer of close to US$1 million in a joint venture to build cluster houses in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb.

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