|Lawyer warned for demonising court|
|Tuesday, 19 June 2012 18:38|
The presiding judge in the on-going MDC-T activists’ murder trial this Tuesday read the riot act to one of the defence counsels representing the accused for demonising and attacking the integrity of the court through issuing false statements over the trial in the press.
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu warned Mr Charles Kwaramba from Mbizvo Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners to desist from issuing out reckless and misleading statements as this is prejudicial to the due administration of justice, adding that it is illegal.
Justice Bhunu quoted part of the statement made by Mr Kwaramba in the Daily News in which he made comparisons between the Shamva murder trial involving police officers and his clients who are part of the 29 accused persons in the murder trial of a police officer.
Mr Kwaramba is quoted as saying: ‘It goes to show there is no equal application of law. This is a classic example where we have police officers, who are supposed to protect the people, being accused of murdering a civilian for a dollar. On the other hand, we have 29 civilians who have been accused of killing a cop. So far there is no evidence that points at them but the speed of the arrests shows that the police wanted to arrest them because they are MDC.”
Justice Bhunu said the statement by the legal practitioner were unfounded given police recently arrested Zanu PF activists in Mudzi for allegedly murdering an MDC member in politically motivated violence and they were also refused bail by the courts.
He said Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act requires that an accused person alleged to have killed a law officer in the course of duty be detained in custody until he or she has been dealt with in accordance with the law or until he provides evidence which satisfies the judge that special circumstances permit his or her release.
Turning to the merits of the bail application, Justice Bhunu said the accused failed to establish any special circumstances entitling them to bail, hence he dismissed the application.
The trial will continue this Wednesday with state witnesses testifying while the defence’s application for witnesses to give evidence at the murder scene has been granted and will be done on Thursday.