Top Lawyer Sucked in Diamond Case
Top lawyer and legislator for Mudzi South Constituency, Jonathan Samkange has been sucked into a diamond case in which the state stands to lose USD2.5million dollars.
Samkange is said to be pursuing the release of rough diamonds that Israeli pilot Ishmuel Kaikan Klein was found in possession of at the then Harare International Airport in 2012 from the Mineral Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ)
Reliable sources revealed that there is a criminal investigation by Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) to establish the scheme to shortchange the State in diamond money.
It is alleged that Mr Michael Reza and Mrs Tracy Mundanga, who were prosecutors in the case in 2012, and Mr Jonathan Samukange connived to produce into the record of judicial proceedings during trial of Shmuel Kainan Klein a foreign document written in a foreign language suspected to be Arabic.
The prosecution team allegedly did not authenticated, in terms of the applicable law, that the document be translated into English which is the official court language.
It is understood that the trial Magistrate Mr Clever Tsikwa admitted into the record the foreign document purportedly as a diamond license notwithstanding the fact that it appeared to be written in Arabic.
The document was also tendered by the defense lawyer Mr Samkange and admitted into the record as a photocopy.
The prosecution did not object to this anomaly. The authenticity of the document remained a mystery.
The investigating officers, who included one Knowledge Kabasa, failed to verify the document.
It is suspected that the prosecution as represented by Mr Reza and Mrs Mundanga might have abused their duties as public officers in accepting a foreign document not translated into official Zimbabwean court language resulting in the undeserved acquittal of the Israel pilot.
Close sources have revealed that Samukange is still pursuing the diamonds from MMCZ or their sale value from the State on the basis of the acquittal.
This has been necessitated by an unclear withdrawal of an appeal at the High Court by the prosecution through Mr Edmore Nyazamba.
The withdrawal came at a time when the State had applied to appeal two years after the pilot’s acquittal.
The withdrawal of the appeal appear not have sat well with the bench resulting in High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi penning a full judgment when the matter was withdrawn.