State to respond to Katsimberis’ latest application

Prosper Dembedza Herald Correspondent

Deputy Prosecutor General Mr Michael Reza is today expected to file a response to an application by building contractor George Katsimberis who wants Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro Muchuchuti to recuse herself from presiding over his trial on fraud charges.

Katsimberis is facing fraud charges involving US$1 million after he built a show house in Borrowdale, Harare, using an allegedly fraudulent building plan, resulting in the city council ordering its demolition.

In his application Katsimberis through his lawyer Advocate Tinomudaishe Chinyoka told the court that he would not get a fair trial under Mrs Muchuchuti. He said the magistrate mischaracterised an application for postponement on June 14 by Mrs Millicent Moyo of Mutumbwa law firm who had stood in for Advocate Chinyoka by reprimanding her for allegedly misleading the court that the advocate had travelled to South Africa for medical attention while in actual fact he was in the country.

However, upon hearing that Katsimberis was being subjected to trial in his absence, Advocate Chinyoka arrived at around 2pm to the State’s surprise. In the newest application for recusal of the magistrate, Advocate Chinyoka said the defence application was not a personal attack. But he said conflict of interest had arisen and that the defence was now suing the magistrate. Katsimberis has had his trial postponed several times due to his numerous applications at the courts.

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