Loice Takarindwa (Senior Court Reporter)
Harare Regional Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti Guwuriro and State Prosecutor Michael Razor on Thursday forced the commencement of court trial despite the acused indicating that his lawyer was not available.
George Katsimberis, a businessman is being accused of fraud in a case in which Pokugara Properties and its owner land baron Kenneth Raydon Sharpe claimed he built a house at the corner of Teviotdale and Whitwell Road without approved architectural plans.
Katsimberis told the court that his lawyer Lewis Uriri was to be available after the 20th of April 2022. However Magistrate Muchuchuti took the advise of the State Prosecutor Michael Razor to commence the trial.
“I am the manager in here and my decision is final and in this case we are proceeding with the trial,” she said.
“The plea by the acused to make us wait should be dismissed. By doing so the acused is making a this court a circus and therefore should be dismissed.”
As the trial was about to commence Katsimberis asked for a previous transcripts alleging that he wanted to use it in his defense outline. However, Magistrate opposed the request saying the trial was to commence with or without the transcripts.
“I will repeat I am the Manager. With or without the transcripts the trial id going ahead.”
Katsimberis stood firm saying he would only be able to make his defense outline with the court transcripts. The magistrate ended up giving in to Katsimberis’ demands.
The magistrate also dismissed the plea by Katsimberis to have amble time to prepare for his defense outline since the transcript was a thick volume.
Without legal counsel Katsimberis would go by himself to make payments for the transcripts and the processions of all the documents during court proceedings.
The magistrate would also be seen pressing Katsimberis under strenuous conditions where he would simultaneously respond to the allegations in the acused box and collecting documents all by himself.
The matter is set to commence on Tuesday next week