Lawyers representing Harare property developer George Katsimberis are pushing for acting deputy prosecutor general Michael Reza to be put to his defence to prove that he allegedly caused the arrest of a witness in a court case.
Katsimberis’s lawyer Tinomudaishe Chinyoka made the submission in response to Reza’s charge that the businessman was bullying prosecutors after he demanded that the top prosecutor must recuse himself from a case where he is accused of forging a house plan.
He said the acting prosecutor general did not respond to issues raised in the application demanding that he must stop prosecuting the case because of his alleged bias.
“In the words of Shakespeare, (Reza’s) response is like a tale, told by a not-so-wise person, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” Chinyoka charged.
The lawyers argue that Reza wrote a letter to the police on October 14, 2022 alleging that former Harare City Council chief building inspector Roy Nyabvure was no longer needed to testify in the case involving Katsimberis.
Nyabvure was subsequently arrested at the Harare magistrate’s court soon after testifying in a different case where Reza is the prosecutor.
Chinyoka said by allegedly assisting the police in arresting Nyabvure the prosecutor had contravened section 69 of the constitution, which guarantees right to a fair and public trial.
Reza refused to recuse himself saying Katsimberis was bullying other prosecutors and he was the only court officer who could handle the businessman.
Chinyoka said the court must direct Reza to make his rebuttal under oath, which will lead to cross examination.
“The unrebutted allegations, which must be taken as admitted are that Michael Reza is the one that told the police where to arrest Roy Nyabvure, contrary to the claims in his letter of 14 October 2022,” he said.
“He knew that Roy Nyabvure was a state witness and he knew exactly when Roy Nyabvure was coming to court.
“In so doing, he committed acts that are criminal in nature and a report has been made to the police.
“These allegations are clear from the application. They are not denied.”
Katsimberis accuses Reza of siding with rival businessman Ken Sharpe who is the complainant in the case.