HARARE – State lawyers yesterday said extraterritorial investigations were still underway in an ongoing trial for ex-managing director Hashmon Matemera, and asked the court to delay the start of his $300 million case.
The presiding magistrate is set to hand a ruling to the remand request today.
State lawyers filed the motion yesterday. The former BancABC boss, 52, is facing allegations of contravening the Exchange and Control Act by allegedly externalising $300 million.
An advocate who appeared for Matemera slammed the State for delaying the trial date and asked to have him removed from remand.
Matemera was represented by Thabani Mpofu when he appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.
Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa sought a postponement of the case to January 31, indicating that investigating officers were going to travel to Sierra Leone and Abu Dhabi for further investigations.
“We wish to advise the court that investigating officers have completed investigations in Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are yet to go to Sierra Leone and Abu Dhabi,” Mutizirwa said.
Advocate Mpofu objected to the postponement saying the State continuously gave the same excuse each time they appeared in court.
“You will note from the record that the accused person has been remanded several times and today we are now told of extraterritorial investigations but I submit that that is false and meant to take advantage of these proceedings,” Mpofu said.
“When we appeared in court in July, the State said investigating officers wanted to travel to Sierra Leone and in September it was Abu Dhabi. We were never told what became of those investigations but the State has proffered the same excuse today.
“The liberty guarantee obliges court to order release of the accused. The State will not be prejudiced and can always proceed by way of summons.”
The ruling will be handed down today.
The State alleged that on November 23, Jinan Mining (Pvt) Ltd was formed through a joint venture between Marange Resources (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary company of Zimbabwe Mining Development Company (ZMDC), and Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company (AFECC) on equal share holding.
Marange Resources was supposed to provide diamond mineral claims to the joint venture, while AFECC funded mining operations from inception to full scale mining.
The court heard that on January 9, 2012 Jinan Mining opened a BancABC transitory account at Mt Pleasant branch before $628 792 555 from AFECC as investment funds.
According to State papers, the transitory account was not procedurally opened as it was non-compliant with pre-requisite processes.
Matemera reportedly facilitated opening of the said account and connived with Bai Xiangqian, Qingde Jiang, Bei Bei Ma — who are still at large — and allegedly transferred $332 980 000 from the account into a BancABC Botswana account for purported investment in that country.
The court heard that extraterritorial investigations were instituted and established that the $332 980 000 transferred to Botswana was never used in that country.
It was further established that varied amounts of the money were moved to China, Mozambique, DRC, Zambia, Siera Leone and Dubai, respectively.