Biti denies attacking investor

HARARE lawyer and opposition politician Tendai Biti yesterday denied advancing towards businesswoman Mrs Tatiana Aleshina with intent to attack her.

Biti, who is facing charges of assaulting Mrs Aleshina at the Harare Magistrates Court in 2020 using verbal assault and threatening behaviour, was presenting his defence case.

Allegations by several witnesses are that he advanced towards Mrs Aleshina and one witness had to stand between him and her to avoid physical contact.

Witnesses told the court that Biti was angry while coming out of the court and advanced towards Mrs Aleshina where he shouted on top of his voice saying the businesswoman was stupid. 

The witnesses said they heard him shouting, but Biti said he did not advance towards her, neither did he point a finger at her, arguing his hands were holding books and a bag.

Biti said he did not know Mrs Aleshina as at November 30, 2020 when the incident happened but later told the court of an incident that he alleged the complainant did in 2009.

He said his conversation with the complainant did not last a minute, adding that he was not angry. 

Biti has been submitting his defence for almost three weeks and he told court that his submissions could even take years.

However, the State, represented by Deputy Prosecutor-General Mr Michael Reza, has been complaining that Biti is delaying the completion of the case by submitting irrelevant information to the court.

Mr Reza once urged the court to guide Biti when submitting information, not for him to submit information he had already submitted.

Magistrate Vongai Guwuriro adjourned the trial to December 5, for continuation.


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