EU Mum On Zimbabwe Sanctions Lawsuit:Tomana

Bulawayo, – The European Union (EU) has not filed opposing papers to a lawsuit over sanctions imposed on President Robert Mugabe and his top associates, Attorney General, Johannes Tomana has said.

Tomana, however, told Radio VOP that he senses victory over the lawsuit he filed against the EU in May at the European Court of Justice.

The European Court of Justice is the highest court in the EU on matters of EU law.

“We are waiting for the EU to respond to our lawsuit. There have not been any developments on the case since we filed the lawsuit.

“Zimbabwe respectfully submits that the European Court of Justice should not simply take our word and impose a penalty on the EU before it has had its day in court,” Tomana said.

Tomana’s suit was filed with the European Union General Court of Justice where a similar action was taken June by David Matsanga, a prominent supporter of Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party based in London.

Tomana added: “There was no legal basis for the sanctions and there are no justifications or firm reasons for including the individuals and entities on the list.

“The individuals and the entities that were placed under sanctions did not even get the chance to exercise their right of defence and this impinged on their rights.”

Mugabe and his close associates were slapped with travel bans to EU member countries after 2002 disputed presidential poll, which western observers said were rigged to hand Mugabe victory.

But according to Tomana, the sanctions are legally and technically inconsistent with the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU in that they violate its treaty.

Tomana argues that the EU included individuals without proper legal basis for doing so, manifestly erred in considering that the criteria for listing on the contested measures were fulfilled as well as failed to give adequate or sufficient reasons for including individuals and entities.

He also contends the EU failed to safeguard the applicants’ rights of defence and to effective judicial review and infringed without jurisdiction or proportion the applicants’ fundamental rights, including the right to protection of their property, business, reputation and privilege and family life.