By Court Reporter
In a startling twist to the ongoing trial of Harare businessman George Katsimberis, Advocate Tinomudaishe Chinyoka, representing the accused, has raised serious concerns about the trial transcript’s integrity.
In his submissions before Harare Magistrate Wongai Guwuriro, Advocate Chinyoka said the trial transcript is marred by significant gaps and alterations, raising concerns about the completeness and accuracy of the court record.
The defense argues that this not only infringes upon Katsimberis’s right to a fair trial but also violates Section 70, subsection 4 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to have a copy of the proceedings at the end of a trial.
Katsimberis through his lawyer contends that the portions of the transcript they have accessed are incomplete and do not accurately reflect what transpired in court.
Advocate Chinyoka asserts that the unavailability of a full and accurate transcript is a deliberate act, pointing to possible violations of the applicant’s rights.
Addressing the court, Advocate Chinyoka highlighted the potential for human factors to compromise the accuracy of the record. The defense raised concerns about human laziness, suggesting that transcribers may be tempted to shorten submissions, leading to incomplete records.
Another significant concern highlighted by the defense is the potential for human bad faith in the transcription process.
The defense alleges that the available sections, signed as the official record, differ significantly from what transpired in court something which the defense firmly asserts that the divergence is intentional.
He pointed out that the court has limited control over access to transcribers, leaving room for manipulation or tampering of the record by involved parties.
Katsimberis is seeking referral to the Constitutional Court citing that his rights have been violated several times.
He is facing fraud charges emanating from a botched joint venture with controversial Pokugara Properties proprietor Keeneth Raydon Sharpe.
The property developer is accused by Ken Sharpe’s Pokugara Properties of building a showroom using ‘forged’ plans despite City of Harare confirming authenticity of the building plans.
The building was however demolished without a demolition order by the City of Harare.