Businesswoman, lawyer acquitted

HARARE - A Harare magistrate has acquitted a lawyer falsely charged with teaming up with a local businesswoman to allegedly defraud her ex-husband of more than $100 000.

Mark Warhurst, 44, and his client Colleen Beatrice Benatar, 45, who were being charged with fraud, have been acquitted by the court.

The two had pleaded not guilty to the allegations and were cleared after the complainant, Robert Daniel Benatar, withdrew the charges.

Prosecutors had accused the two of defrauding Robert, purportedly using an allegedly fake High Court order giving them authority to get proceeds from the sale of his company.

Robert is one of the directors of Capital Brake (Pvt) Ltd.

The state case was that Robert sold the company to Mutare Parts Centre Logistics P/L for $200 000 through an estate agent called Laws Organisation P/L on May 31 last year.

The two parties, the state had claimed, agreed that payment was to be made into Laws Organisation’s trust account held at Kingdom Bank.

It was the state case that a deposit of $130 000 was made, while instalments of $5 800 were to be made within a year until the balance of $70 000 was fully settled.

Following the disposal of the property, the state had alleged that the pair swindled Robert of the proceeds from the sale of the property resulting in him losing $164 800, while $114 447, 83 was recovered.
 
The two have now been cleared of all the charges. - Tendai Kamhungira

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