28 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Cuban Dr Gets Greenlight

Cuba has authorised its pathologist Dr Gabriel Aguero to give evidence in the case in which 29 MDC-T activists are being accused of killing a police inspector in Glen View more than a year ago. Dr Aguero, who is attached to Zimbabwe, carried out a post-mortem for the late Insp Petros Mutedza.

Since May last year, the Attorney General's Office through Zimbabwe's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been failing to obtain authority to have him testify in the case.

Foreign Affairs official, a Mr L Ncube, yesterday wrote to the prosecution informing them of the Cuban Government's decision allowing him to give testimony in court.

". . .The Cuban Government has informed the ministry that Havana granted the authority for Dr Gabriel Aguero to testify in the High Court of Zimbabwe.

"Please be advised that Dr Aguero speaks Spanish and there is a need to engage a Spanish translator to assist in the trial," read part of the letter.

Mr Ncube further suggested that the court may engage the services of members of the Zimbabwe-Cuba Association to assist with interpretation.

"You can contact Mr F Pesanai of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education who is believed to be the most fluent Spanish translator," he said.

The prosecution and the defence lawyers yesterday got into Justice Chinembiri Bhunu's chambers where they agreed on a postponement to today (Thursday).

Today, the parties will apprise the judge on their agreed date for continuation of trial. Defence lawyer Mr Gift Mutisi confirmed the developments.

"The matter has been postponed to tomorrow (Thursday) to allow us to agree on a date for the trial continuation. Cuba has authorised the pathologist to testify," said Mr Mutisi.

State counsel Mr Edmore Nyazamba said he had already talked to the chief interpreter in connection with the request for a Spanish intepreter.

"I have already engaged the chief interpreter and he is now trying to arrange for the availing of a Spanish interpreter. Tomorrow, we will be able to update the court on the progress and possibly propose an agreed date for the doctor's testimony," said Mr Nyazamba.

Insp Mutedza was killed in May 2011 at Glen View 3 shops in Harare while he was on duty.

He was heading a team of riot police that had been deployed to Glen View for maintenance of peace and order after reports of violence by some MDC-T youths.

At the time of his death he was stationed at Borrowdale Police Station.

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