Russian Tatiana Aleshina Matter : Vice President Tendai Biti loses recusal application

HARARE magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro has dismissed an application by lawyer Tendai Biti demanding that she must recuse herself from a matter where the Harare East MP is accused of verbally assaulting a Russian national Tatiana Aleshina.

This was the second similar application against the magistrate by Biti.

The MP also tried to remove magistrate Letween Rwodzi from the case, who later recused herself, resulting in Muchuchuti-Guwuriro taking over the matter.

Biti is accused of verbally assaulting Aleshina at the Harare magistrates’ court two years ago.

The state represented by Michael Reza and Tafara Chirambira had accused Biti of making various applications to delay the trial.

But Biti submitted that the magistrate was biased against him as several applications which he made in the case were dismissed.

High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi also dismissed Biti’s appeal due to lack of substance before ordering the matter to continue from where it was left.

In dismissing the application yesterday, Guwuriro said the mere possibility of bias must be proved in such applications.

She said the court cannot be said to be biased because it has made a ruling which is not in favour of an accused person.

“The accused failed to show bias as required by the law. The accused wants this court’s recusal without legal basis. Therefore his application is dismissed,” Muchuchuti Guwuriro ruled.

In his application Biti had said he has so far filed seven cases against Guwuriro Muchuchuti meaning she was now his opponent.

He said it was unlikely to get a free trial from her.

The matter was postponed to June 3 for trial continuation.

Source : Newsday Zimbabwe

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