Lawyers representing property developer George Katsimberis have accused prosecutor Michael Reza of failing to respond to issues raised by the businessman in his application for the latter’s recusal from his 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 Tinomudaishe Chinyoka, Katsimberis alleges that Reza is biased towards him showing favour to Kenneth Raydon Sharpe owned Pokugara Properties or its chief operations Officer Tatiana Aleshina.
Reza is also accused of causing the arrest of Roy Nyabvure a key State witness in another case involving Pokugara Properties and the same witness is also expected to testify in Katsimberis’ case.
The lawyers argue that Reza wrote a letter to the police on October 14, 2022 alleging that former Harare City Council chief building inspector Roy Nyabvure was no longer needed to testify in the case involving Katsimberis.
“In the words of Shakespeare, (Reza’s) response is like a tale, told by a not-so-wise person, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” Chinyoka argued.
Chinyoka said by allegedly assisting the police in arresting Nyabvure the prosecutor had contravened section 69 of the constitution, which guarantees right to a fair and public trial.
“The unrebutted allegations, which must be taken as admitted are that Michael Reza is the one that told the police where to arrest Roy Nyabvure, contrary to the claims in his letter of 14 October 2022, he knew that Roy Nyabvure was a state witness and he knew exactly when Roy Nyabvure was coming to court. In so doing, he committed acts that are criminal in nature and a report has been made to the police. These allegations are clear from the application. They are not denied.” Chinyoka said
Reza refused to recuse himself arguing that Katsimberis was bullying other prosecutors and he was the only court officer who could handle the businessman.