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CIO boss defamation case quashed

The High Court has set aside a default judgment in which the director of the Central Intelligence Organisation Happyton Bonyongwe was awarded US$10 million for defamation after African Consolidated Resources chief executive Andrew Cranswick claimed in a Wikileaks cable that Bonyongwe was involved in looting diamonds from Chiadzwa in Marange. Bonyongwe won the case by default after Cranswick’s papers were struck out of the record for failure to attend pre-trial conferences. Justice Happias Zhou said the US$10 million award was strange because most judgments ranged from US$2 000 to US$7 000. He said the case should go through the normal court process.  African Consolidated Resources had the rights to the Marange diamonds but it was kicked out at the end of 2006 and lost the rights in court in 2010.  Cranswick told United States embassy officials that those involved in looting Marange diamonds were: RBZ Governor Gideon Gono, First Lady Grace Mugabe, Vice President Joice Mujuru, Mines and Mining Development Minister Amos  Midzi, General Constantine Chiwenga and wife Jocelyn, CIO  Director Happyton Bonyongwe, Manicaland Governor Chris  Mushowe, and several white Zimbabweans, including Ken Sharpe,  Greg Scott, and Hendrik O’Neill.

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