Property developer George Katsimberis has filed an application seeking recusal of the prosecutor from Michael Reza in his alleged fraud case.
Katsimberis is facing fraud charges following a botched joint venture agreement with controversial businessman Kenneth Raydon Sharpe in which he is accused of furnishing the latter’s Pokugara Properties with unapproved architectural plans despite confirmation from the City of Harare that the plans were authentic.
Through his lawyer Advocate Tinomudaishe Chinyoka, Katsimberis said there seems to be a pattern within the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) that Reza is always Prosecuting in matters involving Pokugara Properties or its chief operations officer Tatiana Aleshina.
“There seems to be a pattern in the NPA whereby if the complainant is someone called Tatiana Aleshina or Pokugara Properties the Prosecutor is always my learned friend and in one of the cases where they were accused persons my learned friend took over from another Prosecutor for use of withdrawing charges against these people,” he said adding that “The law requires that I make an application for my learned friend to recuse himself or be recused from this case.”
In his submission before regional Magistrate Wongai Guwuriro, Chinyoka highlighted how Reza caused the arrest of Roy Nyabvure a key State witness in another case involving Pokugara Properties.
Nyabvure is also set to testify in Katsimberis’ case.
“An event happened in between the last time we were here which required that I make a different application, this event is that my brother the prosecutor (Reza) facilitated the arrest of one of the witnesses we intend on calling in this case. He is also a witness in the other three cases with the same facts.
“My learned friend on the 14th of October 2022, wrote a letter to the police which letter caused the police to arrest this witness. In fact this letter was saying he is no longer a witness, because what happened is, the police called him to talk about this case so his lawyers wrote to the police saying he is still testifying so do you mean to interfere with the witness.
“The police then wrote to NPA to check if this was correct and my learned friend wrote to Police to say it’s not true he has finished testifying but the truth is that he has only done one case and there are three remaining, in fact he was arrested here at court,” Chinyoka told the court