17 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Twenty One MDC-T Activists Granted Bail in Ongoing Glen View Murder Case

21 MDC-T activists, charged in the ongoing Glen View cop murder case, were finally granted bail on Monday, leaving only five members of the arrested group still detained.

29 activists were arrested in connection with the death of Glen View policeman Petros Mutedza last May. Most of the group spent more than a year in prison, with the case slowly dragging on. This is despite a significant lack of evidence to implicate the group.

The 21 who have been granted bail are set to be released from Chikurubi maximum security prison on Tuesday. The five still detained are Last Maengahama, Tungamirai Madozkere, Rebecca Mafikeni, Yvonne Musarurwa and Simon Mapanzure.

One of the group's lawyers, Gift Mtisi, told SW Radio Africa that according to the bail ruling on Monday, the evidence so far links the remaining five MDC-T activists more strongly to the murder than their co-accused. Mtisi said that according to the ruling, the remaining five are still considered 'flight risks'.

The judge on Monday also granted an application by the state to allow a "vulnerable witness", Edinah Chihota, to give evidence 'in camera'.

"Once that witness has testified and once we have heard testimony from the doctors involved in treating the accused during the detention, then, based on the evidence that comes out, we may apply for discharge (of the case)," Mtisi said.

The trial proceedings will only continue when the High Court resumes sitting in January 2013.

Two other MDC-T Youth Assembly officials have also been charged in connection with Mutedza's death, after their arrest in late October this year. Tarirai Kusotera and Jackson Mabota were held in detention for a month before being released on bail. But they are being tried separately to the original Glen View 29. Their case will also continue in the New Year.

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