BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
OPPOSITION MDC Alliance vice-president Tendai Biti, who is accused of assaulting a Russian national Tatiana Aleshina at the Harare Magistrates’ Court, escaped a warrant of arrest by a whisker after he failed to appear in court despite him available at the courts.
Biti, through his lawyer Alec Muchadehama, had submitted that he was not in a position to enter the court since he had come into contact with COVID-19 positive people.
Biti’s lawyer said the State should not issue him with a warrant of arrest.
But the State, represented by Michael Reza, said the rules of the court were that when a warned person failed to appear in court, they should be issued with a warrant of arrest.
Reza said there was no credible evidence presented in court that warranted a postponement, but only a letter from his firm.
Reza said this was a clear attempt to delay the trial.
Biti entered the court after some minutes of his name being called, forcing Reza to abandon the application for the warrant of arrest.
Muchadehama and Reza then exchanged some harsh words, but the magistrate postponed the matter to July 28.
Biti is accused of verbally insulting Aleshina on November 30 at the magistrate’s courts, where she was attending a court case in which she is the complainant against property developer George Katsimberis, represented by Biti.