Court gags suspected fraudster

Harare magistrates court

HARARE magistrate Stanford Mambanje has barred suspected fraudster James Landon from making any statement to the media before finalisation of his matter.

Landon is on $150 000 bail and was ordered not to interfere with witnesses as part of his bail conditions or he risks his bail being revoked.

Landon faces fraud allegations involving US$1,5 million after he allegedly duped Nyasa Air Charter represented by Adam Woodington in a botched aircraft service partnership deal.

The State accuses Landon of breaching his bail conditions after he contacted the complainant in the matter and threatened him.

Landon is also accused of causing the publication of a story in the media, which absolved him of any wrongdoing before his trial started.

The complainant said this would prejudice him and the case, adding that Landon violated his bail conditions which state that he should not interfere with State witnesses.

Mambanje, however, dismissed the State’s application to have Landon committed to prison, but ordered him not to visit any media institution.

Woodington had told the court that Landon sent him five threatening text messages.  He said Landon also sent text messages to another witness Hastings Jailos Lumbadzi who is based in Malawi saying he wanted to destroy him.

Landon was quoted in a local independent newspaper commenting on the story which is still before the courts.

However, Landon’s lawyers Munyaradzi Midzi and Innocent Chingarande said their client sent the messages by mistake.

Another witness, Sergeant Portia Katsande, who is part of the investigating team, also testified against Landon.

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