Businessman Sivan removed from remand 

Source: Businessman Sivan removed from remand | The Herald

Businessman Sivan removed from remand

Prosper Dembedza  Herald Correspondent

Businessman Ofer Sivan and his personal assistant Cassandra Myburg yesterday heaved a sigh of relief after they were removed from remand on allegations of fraud.

The ruling was delivered by Mr Stanford Mambanje on behalf of magistrate Mrs Faresi Chakanyuka.

In coming up with the ruling, Mr Mambanje observed that the State had failed to complete its investigations within a reasonable time.

During the last court sitting, Sivan’s lawyer Mrs Josephine Sande told the court that the State was held at ransom by the complainant Gilad Shabtai whom she claimed was threatening it against any withdrawal of the charges.

Sivan was being jointly charged with his personal assistant Myburg.

Mrs Sande told the court that there were media reports circulating that the State wanted to withdraw charges before plea and these articles were allegedly written at the instigation Shabtai.

They tendered some of the news articles which contained falsehoods that the State had overwhelming evidence against Sivan.

“We have challenges of character assassination by some media houses whenever our client appears in court and this is done at the instigation of Shabtai who is currently on the run,” they said.

Mrs Sande and Tarugarira further claimed that Shabtai is feeding media houses with lies that the State has overwhelming evidence against Sivan, just to force the State to keep the accused on remand.

“It is the State who brought the accused to court and therefore it should try him within reasonable time. The court must not treat the State with any favour,” said the defence.

The defence went on to apply for refusal of further remand saying the State should proceed by way of summons if it finishes its investigations.

“Your worship the State suffers no prejudice if the accused persons are removed from remand. The accused persons are being prejudiced by these further remands as they are business people. It’s affecting their operations,” said the defence.

The complaints by Sivan’s s lawyers came after the State led by Mr Lancelotte Mutsokoti had applied for further remand of the matter to August 16 after failing to kick off trial as it had promised on the last court sitting.

Mr Stanford Mambanje ordered the State to put its house in order, saying it was the right of the accused person to be tried within a reasonable time.

“We are now giving the State a last chance to put its house in order,” said Mr Mambanje.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • comment-avatar
    R Fernandes 2 months ago

    “…the state has failed to complete its investigations within a reasonable time.” If this stance is not cast in stone, it should be. Thankfully some magistrates are aware of the trauma that a prolonged arrest and long-drwan-out trial can have on an accused.
    The question has to be asked: Why has this ruling not applied in the case of Tsitsi Dangaremgwa and Julie Barnes whose alleged crime, in July 2019, of inciting violence by peacefully demonstrating with placards calling for a better Zimbabwe and whose case is still before the courts.