By Harmony Agere
Mutare based gold buying agent David Paul Crosby (30), who is facing charges of defeating or obstructing the course of justice was last week released on $10 000 bail after High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi poked holes in the state’s allegations.
Crosby had been in custody for three weeks following his arrest for allegedly influencing Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Commissioner Crispen Charumbira to release another gold trading agent, David Mucheche, who had been arrested for alleged illegal possession of 1,3 kilogrammes of gold.
Both Crosby and Mucheche are employed by Skorus Investments, which is a registered gold merchant and one of the leading suppliers of gold to Fidelity Printers.
Crosby’s bail application had been denied at the magistrates’ court a fortnight ago after magistrate Mrs Bianca Makwande argued that the accused, who is a British citizen, could abscond because he had connections in high places and did not have assets in the country.
In his bail ruling, Justice Chitapi said Harare magistrate Mrs Bianca Makwande “did not properly apply her mind to the peremptory factors”, when she denied bail to Crosby.
Justice Chitapi said it was appropriate to give bail to Crosby, as his co-accused, Comm Charumbira, had been granted one.
“I expressed my sentiments on whether it was equitable to differentiate the appellant from the CID director, his alleged accomplice, Mr Charumbira,” he said.
“I am not persuaded that in the circumstances of this case and the parties involved, the moral blameworthiness of the appellant was more than that of the CID director.
“After all, Mr Charumbira is a law enforcement senior officer if the offence is proved, his moral blameworthiness is without argument much more than that of the appellant.”
Justice Chitapi said the main charge faced by Crosby does not amount to corruption.
The judge further argued that it was unusual to charge the more serious offence in the alternative instead of the primary.
As part of his bail conditions, Crosby was ordered to reside at his given address, surrender his passport, report every Friday at Mutare Police Station and not to interfere with witnesses. SundayMail.