State defends media in Katsimberis fraud case

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Court Hammer

By STAFF REPORTER
THE state on Tuesday defended the media in a case where property developer George Katsimberis’ lawyer advocate Tawanda Kanengoni had asked the court to reprimand the fourth estate for not covering his client’s case in his corner.

Kanengoni had asked Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro to reprimand the media saying their coverage of Katsimberis was not friendly.

The lawyer said he feared that the bad media coverage will impact negatively on his client’s case as it may influence the court’s decision.

“Your worship, we are asking the court to remind the media to cover our case fairly.  My client is not getting fair coverage and he fears that those media articles might influence the court in its decisions. You may remind the media of their duty,” Kanengoni said.

However, Reza opposed the application saying it was the first-time to hear such application in court since the court has no power to control the content of media houses.

“Your worship it is my first time to hear such an application. The defence wants to clobber the court with powers it does not have; that is, to control the media,” Reza said.

 Reza said the media has no power to influence court decisions.

“This court cannot interfere with goings on in media houses” he said.

Muchuchuti-Guwuriro said she will search for the laws dealing with the complaint and the matter was postponed to July 28 for the decision.

Kanengoni however filed a notice to apply for referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court and the details of the application will be heard on the day.

The matter was at the trial stage and the first witness Michael Van Blerk was on stand to testify in the case.

Katsemberis is being accused of duping Pokugara Properties (Pvt) Limited of close to USS$1 million in a joint venture to build cluster houses in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb.

Van Blerk had told the court that Katsimberis misrepresented facts in a fraudulent manner.

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