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NPA under-fire as businessman accuses it of being complicit in US$200k corruption case

Israeli businessman Gilad Shabtai has written to Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) after reports that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was set to withdraw charges against his business partner Ofer Sivan who allegedly swindled him of over US$200 000.

In the letter dated July 26, Shabtai alleges that Sivan who is before the court together with his personal assistant Cassandra Myburg was bragging about having links in the NPA who were going to withdraw the matter before plea.

The two are accused of conniving and forging the signatures of Shabtai on the Stanbic Bank account opening forms which prejudiced the shareholders of more than US$200 000 and their trial has been set for July 27 (Wednesday).

“Our client is disheartened that there has been talk that his case against Ofer Sivan and Cassandra Myburgh is going to be withdrawn before plea for want of evidence in circumstances where two have been only on remand for less than a year and there is overwhelming evidence against the two.

“Our client instructs that Ofer Sivan has already made contact with him and boasted that he has officers from the National Prosecuting Authority in his pocket resulting in the criminal case being withdrawn on his instigation.

“Our client believes in the professionalism of the officers of the National Prosecuting Authority but he is now at a loss that the matter is allegedly going to be withdrawn given that he was never engaged before the decision to withdraw the charges was arrived at,” the letter reads.

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Shabtai has pleaded with the prosecution to stop the withdrawal and that if they proceed, they will seek private prosecution.

According to the letter, Shabtai is worried that he has not been consulted about the impending move neither were his lawyers, prompting him to raise alarm.

He said he was in the country this past week where he met President Emmerson Mnangagwa but no one sought an audience with him.

“Our client pleads with you to put on hold the implementation of your decision to withdraw charges against Ofer Sivan and Cassandra Myburgh.

“It is our considered view that all the essential elements of the offence of Fraud can be established through the evidence which is at hand as submitted to the investigators from ZACC.

“Our client has engaged with the investigators from ZACC, that is Mr. Chonomona and Mr. Mutembwa who confirm that according to their assessment as investigators there is adequate evidence to justify prosecution.

“If you decline to prosecute Ofer Sivan and Cassandra Myburg our client intends to proceed to prosecute the two through Private Prosecution,” read the letter.