ZIMBABWE – Pama Meats owner, Andreas Livaditakis, who was jailed for 11 years for sodomising his teenage employee, was on Monday freed on bail pending his appeal against conviction and sentence.
Livaditakis, through his defense lawyer Ephraim Ndlovu from Mabundu Law Chambers, successfully applied for the bail pending his appeal, which was heard before High Court Judge Justice Garainesu Mawadza.
Justice Mawadza ordered Livaditakis to deposit US$5 000 with the Clerk at the Harare magistrates’ court and report once every Friday at Dzivaresekwa Police Station.
Livaditakis, who was initially jailed for 13 years before three years were set aside on condition of good behaviour, was also ordered to reside at Pama Meats Snake Park as part of his bail conditions.
Lawyer Ndlovu, in his application for bail, said there were prospects of success upon appeal since the lower court erred in convicting Livaditakis.
“The conviction of the applicant at the court a quo is with greatest of respect shocking.
“Applicant was charged with a total of four counts of aggravated indecent assault.
“He was acquitted of three and convicted of the first count.
“The acquittal on the other three counts was premised on a finding by the court that the State had failed to prove the charge of aggravated indecent assault.
“That instead, it had proved sodomy, which charge is not a competent verdict of aggravated indecent assault.
“The issue of determination relates to the reasoning of the court in treating the first count as different from the other counts.
“It is submitted that in differentiating the first count from the other three, the court erred.
“That it erred to the extent that the Appellate court may come to a different conclusion,” he said.
Lawyer Ndlovu also stated in his application that the four counts were similar on how they occurred.
He also said that the evidence relating to the four counts was also similar.
“The first count envelops in a fashion in which complainant received money at the end of the session. The same modus operandi does for count two and three. For count four, there was consideration of such though it was not fulfilled.
“It is submitted that this repeated conduct shows that the court a quo faltered in treating as materially different the first count from the other counts,” he said.
Lawyer Ndlovu also said that the court erred in sentencing his client describing it as harsh.
He also argued that the sentence violates established sentencing principles.
“The court erred and grossly did so in imposing a sentence which is too harsh in the circumstances of the case which does not befit the facts and circumstances of the case.
“From the above, it is clear that there was misdirection in terms of evidence which was adduced before the Honourable Court.
“The trial court a quo grossly erred and misdirected itself in imposing a sentence which violates long established sentencing principles,” he said.
The State had opposed the granting of bail pending appeal saying Livaditakis was likely to flee from the court’s jurisdiction.
It also said that the Pama Meats owner was facing a very serious offence and there were no prospects of success upon his appeal.
“From the record of proceedings it is apparently that applicant is a man of means who can flee from the jurisdiction of this court and sustain himself.
“The sentence which was imposed is appropriate for the offence and an appeal court will not interfere with it,” the State said.