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Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeCourtsState Fails to Prove Its Case Against Businessman Francesco Marconati

State Fails to Prove Its Case Against Businessman Francesco Marconati

Ronald Nyandoro

By Staff Reporter

Businessman Francesco Marconati walked out of prison on Friday after the State failed to prove its case against him following a community service default enquiry that was held at the Harare Magistrate’s Court.

Marconati, who serves as the Director for both Eagle Italian Shoes (Pvt) Limited and Eagle Italian Leather (Pvt) Ltd, was arrested on Monday on allegations of failing to comply with a court order, which compelled him to perform 105 hours of community service.

In his defense, he denied accusations of violating the court order after clarifying that his delay in completing community service was attributable to his need to attend court proceedings and take medical leave.

He said he was left with 14 hours since he had performed 91 hours.

The State, represented by Anesu Chirenje, alleged that Marconati was in violation of the order because he took no action. Chirenje further stated that he initiated an inquiry into the matter following numerous complaints from Li Song, Marconati’s former business partner.

To the court, Chirenje suggested that Marconati could serve an alternative sentence by spending three months in jail.

During Marconati’s first court appearance on Tuesday, his attorney, Advocate Mapuranga, argued that his client had been improperly summoned to court due to incomplete State documents.

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Presented to the court was a letter from the Director of Community Services, which was expected to include Annexure A and B.

These annexures contained the community service reports for Marconati and his son, Alessandro. However, the letter presented in court only featured Annexure B, lacking Marconati’s community service report.

Chirenje argued that Marconati had the onus of explaining to the court why he defaulted community service.

However, on Thursday, Presiding Magistrate Simon Kandiero was unable to deliver the decision on the inquiry due to the absence of Annexure A, (Marconati’s report).

He directed the State to submit this document, stating that he couldn’t render a judgment without it.

The State, which previously claimed it did not possess the document and did not acknowledge its existence during the proceedings, was compelled to present it the same day.

This led Magistrate Kandiero to issue his ruling on Friday, noting that, according to Marconati’s community service report, he had already completed more than 85 percent of the required 105 hours.

He said there was no need for the businessman to serve an alternative sentence in jail. Instead, Kandiero granted additional time to complete the remaining hours at the Borrowdale Police Station.

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