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Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Biti Found Guilty of Assault

Former Harare East legislator and constitutional lawyer, Tendai Biti has been found guilty of assault by gesture and words following a verbal altercation with Russian woman Tatiana Aleshina.

The veteran politician is accused of verbally assaulting Aleshina outside the Harare Magistrates Court in November 2020.

In her ruling, Magistrate Vongai Guwuriro said the State has managed to prove that Biti uttered the words which the accused confirmed himself.

“What remains critical is that she went to receive medication. She was prescribed some medication although she refused to be admitted. It is not in dispute that the accused and complainant had a verbal altercation on the day in question and the accused called the complainant a stupid idiot.

“All the witnesses except the doctor have confirmed that the incident occurred. The evidence that is clearly standing out is that the accused pointed a finger at the complainant.

Emirates

“All the witnesses are credible witnesses and the court has no reason to doubt their testimonies. The evidence of all the state witnesses cannot be said to be worthless as alleged by the accused. For those reasons, I find the accused person guilty,” ruled Guwuriro

Alec Muchadehama who is representing Biti said they will be contesting the ruling at the High Court for various reasons.

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“We contest the verdict of guilty and we are going to appeal to the High Court on various grounds, we felt strongly that this is a constitutional matter that ought to have been referred to the Constitutional Court. We also contest the legality of Section 89 1b under which he was charged, we also contest the findings of the magistrate that the witnesses were credible and we also contest that Tendai’s (Biti) evidence was not rebutted by the State so for these reasons we are going to file an appeal to the High Court.

“Because the trial has not been terminated, we await tomorrow’s proceedings to find out what sentence he is likely to face and we will take it up together with the conviction. Chances are that we will appeal against both conviction and sentence so for now the matter has been rolled over to tomorrow for continuation,” said Muchadehama

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