4 December 2012

Zimbabwe: AG's Office Applies for State Witness to Testify in Camera

THE Attorney General's Office has applied for its last State witness to testify in camera in the trial of the 29 MDC-T activists accused of killing a police officer in Glen View last year.

Law officer Mr Edmore Nyazamba argued that unknown people once threatened the State witness Ms Edna Chihota with death if she testified in the trial.

The State is also seeking the imposition of reporting conditions on the recently freed MDC-T youth leader Solomon Madzore and Cynthia Manjoro.

Mr Nyazamba said the duo should be ordered to report thrice a week to the police pending finalisation of the criminal case.

The prosecution also made a third application to have the matter postponed to next year considering that the High Court legal year ended last week.

Defence lawyer Ms Beatrice Mtetwa opposed the application saying she be allowed to continue with her responses to the three applications.

Mr Nyazamba told the court that his witness's evidence should be heard in camera in the absence of the press and other people. He suggested that the High Court may temporarily move to the Harare regional court where victim friendly conditions are in place.

Mr Nyazamba said the witness had been in hiding following the intimidation and threats and police finally located her. The woman, according to Mr Nyazamba, is willing to give evidence but under victim friendly conditions. Ms Mtetwa queried the threats claims saying there was no evidence that the witness was ever threatened.

Inspector Petros Mutedza was killed on May 29 last year in political violence that broke out at Glen View 3 shopping centre after an MDC-T meeting.

The senior police officer, who was leading the police reaction group, had to be called to Glen View with his team to maintain peace following violence reports in the suburb.

Justice Chinembiri Bhunu is expected to rule on the three applications after hearing arguments from both sides. The trial continues tomorrow.

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