Will Mugabe save van Hoogstraten?

HARARE - Lawyers for British property tycoon Nicholas Van Hoogstraten, were trying to lodge an urgent application at the High Court to have him brought to court earlier this week.

“They don’t appear eager to bring him to court, so we’ll be making an application to the High Court shortly to have him brought here,” said George Chikumbirike, leading Van Hoogstraten’s defence team.

The controversial businessman, who has previously claimed to have close ties with Mugabe’s government, has denied falling out with Zimbabwean authorities and said charges against him of flouting the country’s tough exchange regulations were false and malicious.

Van Hoogstraten was arrested last week for allegedly charging rent for his properties in Zimbabwe in foreign currency, an offence under the country’s foreign exchange regulations.

He is also facing charges of possessing pornographic material in violation of Zimbabwe’s censorship laws.

The British property tycoon, who was being held in police custody over the weekend, is said to own over 200 residential and business properties and an estimated 600 000 hectares of land in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean police say Van Hoogstraten was caught in possession of US$37 586, R92 880, £90 and Z$20 billion. – ZimOnline

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