Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeCourtsCommunity Service Saga Takes New Twist As Businessman Francesco Marconati Claims Arrest Was Based On Fraudulent Warrant

Community Service Saga Takes New Twist As Businessman Francesco Marconati Claims Arrest Was Based On Fraudulent Warrant

A surprising twist has emerged in a community service saga involving Marondera bussinesman Francesco Marconati after he filed a complaint with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Authority (ZACC) alleging that his arrest was based on a fraudulent warrant.

Recently, Marconati was arrested and spent four days at Remand Prison before being released, amid allegations that he had failed to comply with a court order to complete 105 hours of community service.

He was released from custody after it was discovered that he had actually completed 91 hours of community service, contradicting the State’s claims that he had failed to take any steps to comply with the court order.

In his complaint, that was filed by his lawyers, Marconati claims his former business partner Li Song is the one who initiated the proceedings.

Marconati and his former business partner, Li Song, are engaged in multiple legal disputes, with Marconati filing a pending application at the High Court alleging that he is being targeted for silencing after exposing a large-scale, well-organized syndicate involving Li Song that illegally transferred millions of US dollars abroad.

In his complaint letter addressed to the JSC, ZACC, and NPA, Marconati alleges that Li Song derives pleasure from seeing him dragged through the mud. The letter states, in part:

“From above issues raised, it is apparent that the complainant, Ms Li Song, was driving proceedings. She was the one who had raised the allegations through a prosecutor (name withheld).

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“Ms Li Song is bend on ensuring that Francesco Marconati is discomfited and persecuted and that, she wants to have control in order for her to have an opportunity to watch whilst he is being embarrassed and persecuted, as such she would have preferred that he was ordered to perform community service at Borrowdale Police Station, more closer to where she resides,,” he said.

He challenged the validity of the arrest warrant used to detain him, suggesting that the Magistrate who supposedly signed it was not on duty during the relevant period, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the warrant.

“It remains questionable as to which Magistrate Moyo signed the warrant of arrest because the known Magistrate Moyo, unless there is another, was not at the Magistrates Court on the 6th of June 2024 and the signature appended to the warrant of arrest does not belong to her,” he said.

He also alleges that the State’s documents presented during the default inquiry were incomplete, further supporting his claims of an unfair and potentially fraudulent process.

“No investigations whatsoever were carried out. The statement or comments of the supervisor were not in the record. As such, this raises questions as to what really compelled the Magistrate who signed the warrant of arrest when clearly there was no sufficient evidence.

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“The authority or office central to the enquiry of breach of community service is the supervisor, yet there was no comment from the supervisor,” he said.

Additionally, Marconati expressed concerns about the repeated postponements of the matter during his four-day detention, suggesting that the delays were unnecessary and potentially tactical.

“Francesco Marconati was persecuted only to satisfy the demands and pressures of Ms Li Song, and there is reason to believe that the postponements of the matter were calculated to achieve that. Francesco Marconati was persecuted and spent four nights in custody over a trial-and-error proceeding.

“As such, we have been instructed, to bring this to the attention of your esteemed authority as the Commission responsible and tasked in terms of section 255(1)(a) and (d) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe, 2013 to handle complaints of such nature particularly where allegations of abuse of authority are raised and where signs of undue influence are prevalent.

“It is therefore the request of our client that the allegations be investigated and that also that justice be served and that the integrity of the criminal justice system is preserved,” read the letter.

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