MDC Alliance vice-president and lawyer Tendai Biti has been granted $10 000 bail after spending a night in custody following his arrest on allegations of assaulting a Russian woman.
Biti was not asked to plead to assault charges as defined in section 89 (1)(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act when he appeared before Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti.
He was remanded to January 18 for possible trial after prosecutors consented to his application for bail.
Prosecutors said on November 30 at around 12:30pm, the complainant, Tatiana Aleshina, was walking out of court number 17 at the Harare magistrates’ courts where she had attended a case of fraud that involved her employer Augur Investments.
Aleshina was in the company of her workmates, Simbarashe Kadye and John van Bleck.
While she was walking out of the courtroom following the postponement of the matter, Biti, who had attended the same court representing George Kasimberis, who is alleged to have defrauded Aleshina’s employer, allegedly charged towards her pointing his forefinger shouting: “You Tatiana you are stupid, very stupid, stupid, stupid idiot.”
She allegedly remained quiet and did not respond to Biti’s utterances.
Aleshina said she felt “humiliated, shocked and shaken” after the incident and had to be hospitalised at Borrowdale Trauma Centre for treatment as her condition had deteriorated.
MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said Biti’s arrest was based on flimsy charges, which were politically motivated.
“The case started with Biti reading in the newspapers that he had assaulted a Russian woman at court and the rumour started going around,” Mahere told journalists after the bail hearing.
“Thereafter the Zanu PF acting spokesperson, Patrick Chinamasa, started making threats that the police should arrest Biti. Following that, government officials such as Nick Mangwana started making similar threats.
“After hearing that, Biti, as an officer of the court, went to see the police on his own. “It’s important to stress that he wasn’t summoned to the police.
“He went on his own around 11am on Friday to clear his name after reading the media reports.
“While there, the police indicated that they intended to detain him and refused to let him leave.” – The Standard.