By Reason Razao
Property developer, George Katsimberis has filed a court application seeking to have proceedings in a case in which he is both a State witness and accused person based on the same facts broadcasted live.
Katsimberis is alleged to have duped Pokugara Properties close to US$1 million in a joint venture to build cluster houses in upmarket Borrowdale suburb.
According to the businessman, several charges have been brought forward by him, the State and other parties resulting in numerous litigation proceedings.
In some cases he is the complainant whilst in others he is accused.
“As a witness I have already testified in three cases and two corruption cases as well as being a witness in those three cases and having been accused by the State in this court and other courts,” Katsmberis said.
“I feel that in the best interest of justice and for our country such special cases should be broadcast live. As an accused person, I can be convicted at the end of trial or I can be acquitted at the end of the trial of being a fraudster.
“It is my wish that my application is granted. I believe it is in the interest of general public and the judiciary,” he added.
The property developer said the countless motions before court were fast proving to be persecutions than justice centred cases.
“The accused have become complainants and witnesses become the accused after having testified.
“Having just completed my testimony in three special corruption courts in which I am the State witness, just having been to the High Court for my constitutional application to be heard, which application was recently dismissed by Justice Musitu, we have since appealed directly to the Constitutional Court.
“This affects my personal capacity, my business and my banking relations,” said Katsimberis.
He argued live proceedings could allow the public to hear the truth of the matter before the courts.
“Being of public interest and not only for myself, but also for other members who have testified for the State in the three cases and also
witnessing the same issues as mine.
“It is also in the interest of justice and especially the four High Court applications in which the State’s four prosecutors namely Mr Chirambira, Mr Reza, Mr Muchemwa and Mr Chikosho appear accused of perjury.
“This is in everybody’s interest including myself, the accused, the witnesses, the National Prosecuting Authority itself which is prosecuting
my witnesses as well as prosecuting for my complainant.”
According to Katsimberis, there are irregularities within the accusations brought against him and the charges must be streamed live to allow people to understand the justice system.
“So that people do understand our justice system, what it means to make a complaint to the police, what it then means to be accused by the same police you made your complaint through.
“What it means to be a witness for the State, whether or not the risk of you being a complainant to the police, and the witness for the State can lend you into unnecessary prosecution.”
The State through acting Deputy Prosecutor General Michael Reza opposed the application citing failure by the accused to notify him before proceedings commenced.
“The State is opposed to this application. I had not been given any advance notice to this application and I will respond fully in the next session,” Reza said.
As a result, Katsimberis declined to proceed with the matter saying he would only do so once the State responds.
The matter was postponed to November 9.