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Biti maintains innocence, labels Russian investor Tatiana Aleshina a serial fraudster

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By Reason Razao

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HARARE East legislator, Tendai Biti has insisted on his innocence in a case he stands accused of verbally insulting Russian investor Tatiana Aleshina, whilst accusing her of a litany of breaches of the country’s laws.

Biti, who was represented by Alec Muchadehama, accused Aleshina of fronting for companies that were currently under investigation.

As part of his defence, Biti appealed to the court to consider complainant’s character inconsistency whilst presenting facts from
different cases before the court.

According to the parliamentarian, Aleshina once falsified information about the formation of Aurgur Investment, which she claimed was an Estonian company contrary to what the reports later indicated.

“I advise the court Your Worship, that Aurgur Investments was created by the complainant herself and the complainant advised the State she’s the one who, at a Christmas party in 2006, met with Sekesai Makwavarara in order to execute the deal,” Biti said.

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“Aurgur Investments is a company established in Estonia, but she contradicted herself now while giving statements to ZACC (Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission) by saying the company is based in Ukraine.

“This investigation found out that this company is not in Estonia, this is a creation. The complainant created this fiction called Aurgur Investments masquendering as a foreign investor,” he said.

According to Biti, Aurgur Investments was sued by a number of parties and citizens, which include Allan Norman Markham, Jacob Pikicha and Tavonga to which Aleshina is the respondent in all the court applications.

“Aurgur Investments now owns a lot of shoddy companies which include, Doorex Private Limited, West Properties, Pokugara Properties and Millennium Heights, which are being fronted by Aleshina.”

The lawmaker said his accuser was engaged in a series of corrupt activities that were prejudicing the country.

“The complainant herself is a fraudster who is fronting these shoddy companies to steal from Zimbabweans,” he said.

Biti alleged Aleshina was powerful and well-connected.

“Your Worship with someone who is so powerful to bend the laws of Zimbabwe in this capricious manner, she can jail anyone anytime.”

The State, however, dismissed Biti’s submissions saying the accused was giving irrelevant evidence.

“Your Worship the accused person is giving irrelevant evidence for someone’s attention, because we have reporters here so that they can write about this document,” said Michael Reza, the Deputy Prosecutor General.

In a series of accusations, Biti alleged that Aleshina had unscrupulously skipped processes when the company she represented signed contracts with Harare City Council.