Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
The State today told the court that it would respond to George Katsimberis’s application for referral of his fraud case to the Constitutional Court on July 26.
Deputy Prosecutor General Mr Michael Reza said Katsimberis’s lawyer, Advocate Lewis Uriri, submitted the application on July 19.
Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro Muchuchuti deferred the matter to July 29 for oral submission by both sides.
During the commencement of this trial, the State called its first witness Mr Michael Van Blerk to the stand.
Van Blerk, who was Pokugara Properties’ general manager at the time when the offence was allegedly committed, said Katsimberis used plans which were not approved by the City of Harare to construct a showroom.
He went on to state that Katsimberis showed them a fake approved plan which they later discovered after they received a demolition letter from the City of Harare.
“We believed that the accused had the City of Harare approved plans. The City of Harare wrote to us that they were no approved plans but the accused had shown us plans which he claimed were approved by them,” said Van Blerk.
The State witness told the court that they had a joint venture with Katsimberis to develop land owned by Pokugara Properties.
He said it was not a sale agreement as the land belonged to Pokugara Properties.
“Development was to be conducted on 19559 a portion of Pokugara Properties of which I also signed that agreement,” he said.
Van Blerk said Katsimberis was supposed to obtain all planning authorities on behalf of Pokugara and get approved plans and abide by all the bylaws. He added that the building was demolished after the City of Harare discovered that it was built without an approved plan and was constructed with unauthorised material.
“The accused for a period encircled the structure to prevent us from viewing it but eventually we saw it. He used a steel frame and concrete tar which was not part of our agreement. The house was demolished carefully and without malice by the city council and all materials were recovered by the accused person,” he said.
Katsimberis denied the allegations and told the court that he will file his defence outline in due course.