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Biti verbal assault trial resumes

Local News
Opposition legislator Tendai Biti,

THE trial of opposition legislator Tendai Biti on a charge of verbally assaulting local businesswoman Tatiana Aleshina continued yesterday with the complainant testifying under cross-examination.

The trial delayed its commencement after Biti's lawyer Alec Muchadehama tried to file another court application to stay the proceedings saying the magistrate should first deliver her ruling on a pending application for referral to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt).

Muchadehama had filed an application of referral to the ConCourt just after the dismissal of another application for referral to the same court.

But the State represented by Michael Reza opposed the application saying he should file a review of that application as the magistrate could not review her ruling.

Muchadehama insisted on the application for referral and magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro gave in and allowed him to file a written application saying the trial would however proceed.

The trial proceeded with Aleshina leading evidence for the State.

Midway into the case, Muchadehama then filed the application for referral to the ConCourt but the State could have none of that, saying this was a delaying tactic by the defence.

Muchadehama then filed an application to stay the proceedings, but Reza again opposed saying the trial should continue while they wait for the ruling of their application for referral to the ConCourt.

Magistrate Muchuchuti-Guwuriro then dismissed the application to have the trial stayed saying the matter should proceed.

Muchadehama then started cross-examining the witness.

The lawyer asked Aleshina several questions relating to their companies, Augur Investments, Doorex, Sunshine among others but she declined to respond to the questions since she did not have authority to speak on behalf of those companies.

"You indicated last time that you know nothing about Augur Investments," Muchadehama asked.

"l had no authority to talk about Augur Investments. I am only here for an assault case," Aleshina responded.

"Do you know Sekesai Makwavarara, the one whom you met in 2006 at a Christmas event?" Muchadehama asked.

"I don't remember anything since it's 2006. I met a lot of people in 2006 up to now," she replied.

Muchadehama tried to ask the witness on documents he said she wrote to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the High Court, but the State opposed the submissions of the documents saying they were not commissioned and that the contents were irrelevant to the assault case currently before the courts.

"There is need to rely on certified documents for the purposes of trial and the documents which is not certified is not relevant documents," magistrate Muchuchuti-Guwuriro said.

Muchadehama insisted asking if Aleshina remembered certain people she met in 2006.

"I introduced a lot of investors in this country but l don't remember the happenings of 2006. I am totally confused when you ask about Augur because l don't have authority to talk about Augur. If Augur had given me authority to represent them l would have done so but in this case l cannot talk about Augur," Aleshina said.

Reza, however, objected to the defence’s line of questioning saying they were irrelevant.

"Since the start of this trial the defence has not asked any questions relating to the assault case and no questions has been asked in relation to the assault case," Reza said.

The trial was adjourned to Tuesday.


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