Source: Tomana seeks bail refund – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 22, 2016
SUSPENDED Prosecutor-General (PG), Johannes Tomana has approached the High Court seeking a refund of the bail money and the surety he surrendered at the Harare Magistrates’ Court after being remanded on five fresh counts of criminal abuse of office or alternatively defeating the course of justice.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The matter is set to be heard today by High Court judge, Justice Samuel Kudya.
Two weeks ago, provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe, ordered that the suspended PG deposit $2 000 bail, surrender $250 000 surety and his passport, coupled with stringent reporting conditions.
Tomana, through his lawyer Tazorora Musarurwa, challenged Mahwe’s decision, arguing he already was on bail on a similar charge and, therefore, could not have been ordered to deposit bail, which the State had not requested.
Tomana also urged the High Court to censure Mahwe, for allegedly adopting an irregular procedure “at such a time when all efforts are being made in improving the quality of justice in this country”.
Sometime in February, Tomana appeared at the same court facing similar charges and was released on $1 000 bail coupled with other stringent conditions.
“Applicant (Tomana) was, therefore, already on remand and his conditions of remand could not be changed by the fact that certain counts had been added. The State and the appellant’s legal practitioner were ad idem on this point,” Tazorora said.
“Appellant’s legal practitioner informed the court he had no submissions to make if the court was agreeable to the position of the State . . . after about 10 minutes, the magistrate returned and he announced that he did not agree with the concession made by the State. He immediately proceeded to place appellant on bail.”
Tomana said the magistrate erred in proceeding to make a ruling without the benefit of any submission from his council in clear violation of basic rules of natural justice, adding the manner with which the proceedings were conducted “were grossly irregular and demand that the entire proceedings be set aside”
“There is no other way this honourable court can remedy such gross irregularities other than setting aside the bail proceedings, returning the money paid and security lodged and cancelling all conditions. There is nothing wrong in censuring the magistrate, as such blatant irregularities cannot be allowed to exist at such a time when all efforts are being made in improving the quality of justice in this country,” the PG said.
The State had not filed its response yesterday.