Gems stolen ... Shmuel Klein with Jonathan Samukange
Shmuel Klein, 58, was arrested at the Harare International Airport on March 17 and faces charges of unlawful possession of the gems as well as contravening the country’s immigration laws.
But his lawyer, Janathan Samukange told a Harare magistrate’s court Friday that some of the gems were missing and may have been stolen while in police custody.
“(Klein) will state that he has been shown a copy of the affidavit by Clever Sithole, which shows that the total carats were 8 486.66 and further state that about 2 140.34 carats are missing,” Samukange said.
Detective Shamiso Tashu of the Police Border Control and Minerals Unit conceded during cross examination that some of the evidence was missing.
Klein denies trying to smuggle the diamonds out of the country claiming he was an agent for a company called Masri diamonds.
“He also said that he carrying the diamonds on behalf of Masri diamonds and was to hand them to Nisim Masri.
“He told them that he was acting as his agent for the purpose of possessing and carrying the diamonds to Tel-Aviv.”
But Samukange doubted his qualifications saying, “the court needs to rely on a qualified person not someone who has gone for a seven day crash course programme”.
He also said the value of the diamonds had been “extremely exaggerated” insisting they were worth no more than US$220 000.