George Katsimberis' trial continues, amid referral of matter to the ConCourt


HARARE – The fraud case in which businessman George Katsimberis wants to referred to the Constitutional Court continued on Wednesday at the Harare Magistrates' Court (trial). 

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Katsimberis is accused of forging a plan for a house he built on behalf of Ken Sharpe’s Pokugara Properties in Harare’s Borrowdale area.

Appearing before regional magistrate Vongai Guwuriro, Katsimberis maintained that transcripts for his ongoing trial for fraud have been doctored, and he believes they were manipulated to influence the outcome.

The property developer intends to use records from the lower court in the Constitutional Court application to halt his trial.

Katsimberis claims that crucial dates and details were intentionally left out, rendering the record devoid of any relevance and importance. 

He further stated that these omissions would likely harm his appeal to the Supreme Court.

Among the items reportedly excised from the transcripts were instances involving Sharpe's assistant, Tatiana Aleshina.

In various situations, remarks made by the prosecution were erroneously attributed to Katsimberis' attorneys or vice versa. 

Additionally, the property developer expressed concerns about the alleged close relationship between prosecutor Michael Reza and Tatiana Aleshina.

Katsimberis ConCourt application comes after several attempts to have the presiding magistrate Vongai Guwuriro and prosecutor Michael Reza recuse themselves from the matter over alleged conflict of interest were dismissed.

The matter was rolled over to 17 January.

However, during the trial proceedings it also came to the fore that to accelerate the fraud case against George Katsimberis, Mrs Vongai Guwuriro proposed conducting court proceedings on Saturdays.

This proposal was made following her observation that Katsimberis' attorney, Advocate Tinomudaishe Chinyoka, required additional time to complete his application for the case's referral to the Constitutional Court; and also with the view towards striving for the completion of the matter. 

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