Wednesday, 24 June 2020

MDC TRIO : WHERE IS THE VIDEO EVIDENCE


HIGH Court Judge Justice David Foroma yesterday reserved judgment in the bail application by MDC-Alliance legislator Joana Mamombe and two activists Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marovawho are accused of lying to the police and faking abduction.

The three were denied bail pending trial by Harare magistrate Ms Bianca Makwande last week on the grounds that they had the propensity to commit similar offences.

She also considered that they were likely to abscond given that they were likely to be given a custodial sentence if convicted.

Arguing for the trio, defence lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama told the judge that the magistrate misdirected herself in denying his clients bail, treating them as guilty before trial.

He said the lower court failed to consider that the suspects had no bad criminal records to warrant the court to deny them bail.

The magistrate, Mr Muchadehama said, relied on the State’s statement of a video evidence against the activists, which they failed to produce during the bail hearing.

However, Justice Foroma said he did not have it on record that Mr Muchadehama contested it at the lower court. 

“Something is not tallying in your submissions. The court a quo said it relies on the submissions made by counsel,” said Justice Foroma.

“It was your duty to openly dismiss the existence of the video in the presence of the witness rather than putting the blame at this stage now on the State for failing to produce the video.”

Justice Foroma also said the defence counsel should have filed the medical affidavits of the suspects as part of its evidence considering the magnitude of the allegations of assault and rape.

The State represented by Mrs Wadzanai Badalane insisted that the magistrate was correct in her judgment as she analysed the facts that had been presented before her. Herald

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