Biti denied Right to Legal Representation

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By Anyway Yotamu
HARARE – The State yesterday dinied Movement for Change Alliance vice- president Tendai Biti his constitutional right to be represented by his lawyer of choice Mr Aleck Muchadehama in a matter of allegedly assaulting a controversial Russian national and Pokugara Properties COO, Tatiana Aleshina at the Harare Magistrate Court last year.
Biti had applied for the matter to be postponed, after his lawyer was called at the master of High Court for an urgent meeting.
The State, through prosecutors Michael Reza and Tafara Chirambira, opposed the postponement and opted to proceed with the matter in the absence of the accused’s lawyer.
Prosecutor Michael Reza chose to call an official at the Master of the High Court by the name Madi for confirmation and was told that there was a meeting with Biti’s lawyer Alec Muchadehama, despite the fact that there was a specific named person who had called Mr Muchadehama for the meeting.
He argued that the trial should proceed, accusing Muchadehama of opting to attend to the Master of High Court despite his obligations to represent his client, Biti.
Biti, who was being represented in court by Jeremiah Bhamu, in the absence of Mucadehama had asked the court for postponement to October 21 when Muchadehama would be free.
Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti Guvuriro dismissed the application for postponement and ordered the trial to proceed.
Bhamu later recused himself saying he could not represent the accused person when his constitutional rights are being violated.
Biti, however, took to the witness stand where he accused the State of violating his constitutional rights.
“This is clearly biased my lady, your decision for me to stand without my lawyer, it’s unconstitutional even Parliament itself can not processed in such situations.” Biti said.
“As a matter of fact despite the attempt to call it an assault it is not an assault at the very most it is a matter of a verbal altercation between myself and the complainant Tatiana Aleshina. As I testified last week assuming without pleading that I called her an idiot, how does that verbal exchange create this brouhaha that the court constantly puts itself in a position where it is constantly and persistently making decisions that are inexplicable and coincidentally in favour of the State,” added Biti
The matter was postponed to the 18th of October despite the accused having requested the 21st.

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