HomeLocalPokugara Properties perjury case baseless : Lawyers

Pokugara Properties perjury case baseless : Lawyers

BY STAFF REPORTER
LAWYERS representing Pokugara Properties and its Managing Director Michael John Van Blerk have claimed that the perjury case raised by property developer George Katsimberis was baseless and only calculated to embarass the firm and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The defense team led by lawyer Tawanda Zhuwarara, in its outline seen by The Standard argued that the charge did not disclose any offence cognisable at law and that the argument by the state was baseless.

The State was represented by prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga of the Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the President’s Office who alleged that Van Blerk, in his personal capacity and representing his firm alegedly filed a false written statement alleging that a show house constructed by Katsimberis was built without approved building plans from Harare City Council.
Katsimberis argues he is in possession of all documents to prove his assertions and wanting to nail Pokugara Properties on the show house he allegedly constructed under a deal with businessman Ken Sharpe who he alleged controversially pulled out of the arrangement.

But through their lawyer Zhuwarara, the accused pleaded not guilty and argued the charge did not disclose any offence cognisable at law.

“The allegations of perjury are calculated to embarass the accused person in that they are based on facts that the complainant (Katsimberis) admitted under case HC8943/18,” the lawyer said.
“Each allegation the prosecution now claims to have been falsely averred was admitted by the complainant by non-contravention. Perjury cannot actuate from an affidavit whose averments were admitted by complainant as having been true in the proceedings wherein such affidavit lodged. The charge is, therefore, incompetent, and embarrassing. It must be quashed,” Zhuwarara said.

lt was further argued that the accused person did not misrepresent facts by insisting that the show house was built without approved building plans from council through a letter dated July 26, 2018.

“Furthermore, the fact that the show house was built without approved building plans was re-affirmed by City of Harare in paragraph (10.1) to (10.7) of an affidavit dated October 2, 2018 deposed to by the then town clerk Hosiah Abraham Chisango,” the defence outline read in part.

The show house was then demolished at the instance and direction of the City of Harare acting in terms of Section 32, 34 and 35 of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act (Chapter 29:12).

“The allegations of perjury are unsustainable and designed to militate against the criminal proceedings the complainant is facing for unlawfully obtaining fake building permits in respect of the show house that was later destroyed for having been built on the 2nd accused person’s land,” the defence counsel further argued.

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