The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Diamond Firm Acquitted

A DIAMOND processing company has been acquitted of dealing or possessing diamonds without a licence.

Harare magistrate Mr Kudakwashe Jarabini ruled that the State had failed to prove a prima-facie case against Pamenta Investments.

The company, which offers diamond-cutting courses in conjunction with Bretwood Institute of Geomology, had denied the charges when its trial opened before Mr Jarabini.

The company, which was represented by its director Mr Bernard Mutanga, was charged with dealing or possessing precious stones without a licence and failure to make quarterly returns to the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe.

In his ruling to the firm's application for discharge, Mr Jarabini said the State failed to satisfy the essential elements of the offences.

"Accused cannot be put to his defence to bolster the weak State case which cannot stand alone or in an attempt to secure a conviction out of its evidence during the defence case.

"Accused is hereby discharged at the close of the State case on the grounds that there is no evidence on which a reasonable court acting carefully might safely convict accused," he said.

The State alleged that on June 13 last year detectives and officials from the MMCZ and Ministry of Mines and Mining Development were carrying out audits.

They discovered that the company had bought 404,85 carats of diamonds from MMCZ during the period extending from February 28 to June 13 without a valid permit or licence to possess diamonds.

The team allegedly discovered that the company had sold 33,96 carats to Diamond Exchange Company without MMCZ authority.

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