Suspects set free

HARARE - Two men accused of kidnapping their controversial business partner have been freed, after the State failed to bring the complainant and the witnesses to court.

Phillip Mapfiro, 30, and Ashraf Raslan, 39, yesterday walked free after Harare magistrate Elijah Makomo ordered the State to proceed by way of summons, following the unavailability of witnesses and the complainant.

This followed an application for refusal of further remand filed by the duo’s lawyer Tafadzwa Hungwe, who argued the State’s house was not in order, following a failure to secure its witnesses.

The State had indicated that it was not ready to proceed with the matter, arguing that the complainant Dietrich Herzog was in France.

The State had preferred kidnap or unlawful detention and theft charges against the two.

Prosecutor Tungamirai Chakurira had claimed that the incident took place on December 7 last year at number 57 Folly John Crescent, Glen Lorne, Harare.

The State had alleged that Mapfiro and Raslan had a misunderstanding with the complainant Dietrich Herzog over business deals.

The suspects, according to State papers, had armed themselves with a knife, broken beer glass and a cigarette lighter and threatened to stab Herzog.

They allegedly manhandled him and locked him in a toilet for five hours.

Herzog was forced to sign an affidavit surrendering his shares, interests and mining rights, whilst he was locked in the toilet.

According to state papers, the suspects went into Herzog’s room and stole $2 000.

Herzog reported the matter to the police, leading to the duo’s arrest.

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