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Biti’s assault trial deferred

Biti is still submitting his defence, which he started three months ago.

THE trial of opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) top official Tendai Biti, who is accused of verbally assaulting a local businesswoman, Tatiana Aleshina, has been deferred to January 11 and 12 next year for continuation.

Biti is still submitting his defence, which he started three months ago.

He is, however, denying verbally assaulting Aleshina, saying referring to her as stupid was in jest.

Biti also told the court that he did not repeat the word stupid as alleged by three witnesses, arguing that it was an exaggeration.

Testifying before magistrate Vongai Guwuriro last week, Biti told the court that the witnesses’ testimonies were inconsistent on whether the incident happened inside or outside the courtroom.

The former opposition legislator has been submitting his defence for almost three months and when asked by prosecutor Michael Reza when he will finish, Biti said he would be on the witness stand for some time.

However, Reza asked Guwuriro to guide Biti on his submissions so that he does not repeat what he had submitted before.

Biti filed for recusal of the prosecutor on more than two occasions. He also applied for the magistrate’s recusal on more than two occasions.

He has further made an application for referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court on more than three occasions, while submitting several applications for postponement of the matter.

Reza has, on numerous occasions accused Biti of deliberately submitting irrelevant information with nothing to do with the assault case and delaying the trial by filing several court applications.

The matter is in its fourth year. Biti is accused of verbally assaulting Aleshina at the Harare Magistrates Court in 2020.

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