A HARARE magistrate yesterday accused MDC Alliance vice-president Tendai Biti of deliberately delaying his trial for assaulting a Russian investor last year.
Biti allegedly assaulted Tatiana Aleshina, a Russian businesswoman with investments in Zimbabwe.
This allegedly took place outside the courts in November last year when Biti had appeared in court representing businessman George Katsimberis, who is embroiled in a property wrangle with the complainant, Aleshina.
Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro yesterday dismissed Biti’s application for further postponement of the matter to June 18 saying he was holding the court to ransom.
“We allowed the process on Wednesday and definitely, you now have necessary information and you now say you require time. The 25% of documents you requested were availed and I am in a quandary as to why you now seek for more time,” the magistrate said.
“It seems you are now taking advantage of the courts. We cannot allow the accused to be unsure of what he wants. We can’t allow him to be unclear and defer the matter unnecessarily.”
Biti is seeking the recusal of prosecutor Michael Reza, saying he had personal interests in the matter.
Through his lawyer Alec Muchadehama, Biti yesterday sought further postponement of the matter, arguing that he was yet to go through the documents because of a busy schedule.
“What we wanted was adequate time. We are making an application for postponement to enable us to adequately read the papers,” Muchadehama said.
He proposed that the matter be postponed to July 6, saying on June 18 when the matter is supposed to be heard, Biti will be away in South Africa for medical reasons.
The State, represented by Tafara Chirambira, opposed the postponement saying it was prejudicial to the State and the witnesses.