HIGH Court judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero has dismissed opposition top official Tendai Biti's urgent chamber application to temporarily stop his trial at the lower court where he faces a charge of verbally assaulting a local businesswoman.
Through his lawyer Alec Muchadehama, Biti had approached the High Court seeking to stop trial proceedings at the lower court pending the determination of an application for review of an application for discharge which was dismissed by magistrate Vongai Guwuriro.
Guwuriro had ruled that Biti should be put to his defence to answer some questions raised by State witnesses during cross-examination.
Aggrieved by the lower court’s decision, Biti filed for a stay of proceedings before the same magistrate and the application was dismissed. The CCC politician then filed an High Court urgent chamber application challenging the lower court’s decisions to put him to his defence. Biti also filed another application at the High Court for a review of Guwuriro's verdict which dismissed his application for discharge.
However,Justice Chikowero dismissed the urgent chamber application saying the higher court had no authority to interfere with an ongoing matter. He urged Biti to proceed to his defence which is already halfway through.
Biti is accused of verbally assaulting Tatiana Aleshina at the Harare Magistrates Court in 2020. The trial has been dragging on for close to three years due to several court applications filed by the defence. Biti is denying the charges, but the three witnesses who testified in the matter told the court that they so him verbally assaulting the complainant.