|Canadile documents stifle Kurotwi case’s progress|
|Thursday, 02 August 2012 00:00|
THE High Court has reserved ruling on whether or not the State should be compelled to produce a set of documents required by the defence team in the fraud trial of Core Mining director Lovemore Kurotwi and former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation boss Dominic Mubaiwa.
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu deferred the case to next month when the High Court re-opens for its third term.
The High Court’s mid-term ended yesterday.
Defence lawyers Mrs Beatrice Mtetwa and Advocate Lewis Uriri insisted that they required a resolution by the now disbanded Canadile Miners board authorising Grant Thornton to produce a financial report for the company.
They also need a copy of the CR14 form that sets out the directors of Canadile amid conflicting information on the report by Grant Thornton that Mr Mubaiwa was one of the directors of Canadile.
The lawyers also want to be furnished with monthly diamond statistics and sales statistics for the diamonds in a bid to disprove the actual prejudice of US$2 billion alleged by the State.
Source documents that were used in the compilation of the report are also on the list of the required papers.
Diamond valuation reports, board resolution for the dividends, bank statements, mini-book entries and records of all mined diamonds are also part of the documents required by the defence team.
Mrs Mtetwa said despite a letter written to the State, chief law officer Chris Mutangadura and law officer Mr Public Mpofu neither responded nor provided the requested documents.
She argued that former Canadile finance manager, Mr Simbisai Munemo, who wants to testify for the State on how much was injected into Canadile by Core Mining should not be allowed to give evidence until all the outstanding documents have been furnished.
She indicated that his client could not prepare for his defence in the absence of such documents.
Chief law officer Chris Mutangadura counter-argued that the resolution authorising Grant Thornton to produce the financial report was no longer available considering that Canadile was no longer in existence.
Some of the directors, he said, had since left the country.
He also argued that nothing at law should stop Mr Munemo from giving evidence considering that he was introduced in the summary of evidence as a witness and a former finance manager.
The evidence Mr Munemo is expected to give, according to Mr Mutangadura, was in line with his duties at Canadile.
Mr Mutangadura said the State was not at law obliged to furnish the defence with statements showing the profits made because they were relevant to the trial.
But Mrs Mtetwa said the statements were relevant considering that there are claims that some US$10 million was in the company accounts when the deal got sour and that there was need to trace it.
Adv Uriri said his client Mr Mubaiwa was stated in the Grant Thornton report as a director of Canadile, a statement that had since been withdrawn by the State and that there was now need for him to be furnished with more documents like the CR14 form.
He said it was not enough for his client to be simply furnished with an undated and unsigned report purportedly produced by Grant Thornton.
Before the case started, there was an exchange of words between Mrs Mtetwa and Mr Mpofu who was assisting Mr Mutangadura.
Mr Mpofu complained over the manner Mrs Mtetwa talked to him, which he felt was unnecessarily linking him to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Obert Mpofu.
Tampers flared with Mr Mpofu warning Mrs Mtetwa against such kind of statements until Mr Mutangadura and Adv Mpofu restored peace.
Mr Mpofu was heard saying:
“Mrs Mtetwa I do not like the way you are behaving. You are one of the people that I have always respected and may you please respect me as well to preserve the relations we had,” he said.
Mrs Mtetwa instead said she did not expect any respect from him.