BITI RULING DATE SET newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

BITI RULING DATE SET newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

The trial of opposition politician Tendai Biti on charges of verbally assaulting local businesswoman Tatiana Aleshina ended yesterday, presided over by Judge Fungai Guoriro.
She is scheduled to announce her ruling on February 15.

The state, led by Deputy Public Prosecutors Michael Reda and Tafara Shirambira, is expected to submit its closing submissions on January 25, while Betty’s lawyer Alec Muchadihama will submit his submissions on February 2.

The matter has been before the court for nearly three years with Beatty making several applications to the Constitutional Court citing a violation of his right to a fair trial. On two occasions, Beatty also unsuccessfully sought the disqualification of trial judge Guerrero and prosecutor Michael Reda, due to alleged bias. The State alleges that Betty assaulted Aleshina in the Harare Magistrates Court on 30 November. 2020.

However, he denied the charge, claiming that on the said day he was carrying a bag in one hand and some books in the other, and could not have made the intimidating gestures as alleged.

However, the prosecution said Beatty committed the crime in anger after losing several cases to the complainant’s firm.

In his evidence, Beatty claimed that the Criminal Code (Codification and Reform) Act had abolished the charge of assault by gesture, but he could not explain how he wanted the court to reach such a decision when Shirambira explained to him that section 89 ( (1) (b) of the same Act criminalized gestures. Threat Newsday

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