20 November 2012

Zimbabwe: MDC-T 29 Trial Adjourned to Next Week

The state prosecutor in the ongoing trial of the 29 MDC-T activists accused of murder, spent Tuesday in court trying to salvage the reputation of the investigating officer in the case.

The activists face charges of murdering police Inspector Petros Mutedza in

May last year, after he had gone to Glen View to investigate what was alleged to be an illegal meeting the MDC-T members were holding.

Prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba was re-examining top cop chief Inspector Clever Ntini's evidence in the hope of rebuilding his reputation after the court last week ruled much of his evidence was false and unreliable.

Last week the High Court had ruled that Ntini, who investigated MDC-T youth assembly president Solomon Madzore and another party activist Lovemore Taruvinga Magaya, lied to the court. Ntini had said the two had been identified by undercover police officers as having taken part in the murder last year.

It emerged that Madzore's previous bail dismissals were as a result of this false information supplied to the court by Ntini. This prompted High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu to grant Madzore bail, together with Magaya.

Defence lawyer Charles Kwaramba told SW Radio Africa the re-examination of Ntini was an exercise in futility as he had lost respect of the court. He said the cop had nothing new to offer and anything he says from now onwards should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Kwaramba said they applied to the High court to cross-examine Ntini following his latest submissions to the prosecution team.

The trial was postponed on Monday when a power outage hit Harare's Central business district in the morning. On Tuesday the judge adjourned the trial to Monday next week.

Three of the activists have been released on bail. Of the three, Cynthia Manjoro was the first to be released after the defense counsel led by Beatrice Mtetwa managed to convince the court that she was not near the scene on the day Inspector Mutedza was murdered.

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