State seeks Biti given timeline to submit evidence

Source: State seeks Biti given timeline to submit evidence | Newsday (News)

By staff report
The state yesterday had applied that Citizens Coalition for Change vice president Tendai Biti who is accused of verbally assaulting a local businesswoman be given a timeline to submit his evidence in his application for referral to Constitutional court after he took two days in full on his previous application attempt.

Prosecutor Michael Reza had asked that Biti be given a limited time to make his submissions in light of his previous submissions.

However Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro said only superior courts were allowed to give specific time when making submissions but concurred with Reza saying Biti should submit relevant evidence.

“Its now a Constitutional Court requirement that an applicant must submit oral evidence on what Constitutional rights he claims were infringed. The court cannot stop the accused from submitting these,”magistrate Muchuchuti-Guwuriro said.

“The lower courts do not have the power to set time frames within which an accused must make his submissions. However the court agrees with the state that the accused must not submit evidence that is irrelevant. The court will therefore be guiding the accused whenever he submits evidence that is irrelevant.”

Biti through his lawyer Alec Muchadehama had submitted that his rights were infringed from the day he was arrested.

In his application Biti mentions an agreement signed between Augur Investment during the Airport road construction, certain Zanu PF members which the court ruled as irrelevant.

Reza had told the court that Biti’s reasons for the application had absolutely nothing to do with the assault case.

“The accused is trying to bring in politics and political names in an assault case which irrelevant,”said Reza.

Reza said there is absolutely no reason for refferal of this matter to the Apex court.

“This is a purely criminal case but the accused wants to bring in politics where it doesn’t fit. This court is not a political field,”Reza said.

He also submitted that Biti in his application talks about a contract signed by Augur Investment during the Airport road construction which is irrelevant in this matter.

Recently Reza told the court that if it keeps on entertaining Biti’s applications for postponements his trial will never be heard during our lifetime.

He told the court that numerous applications for postponements have been granted at the instigation of the defence.

“The record of proceedings does not stop these proceedings. This is the time for this court to order the commencement of this trial otherwise it will not kick off during our lifetime,”said Reza.

Biti is facing charges of manhandling a Zimbabwean investor Tatiana Aleshina at the Harare Magistrates Court.

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