Facebook trial spectacularly collapse

The case against Bulawayo resident, Vikas Mavhudzi, accused of subversion because of an alleged post on the social networking site facebook collapsed on Tuesday 20 September 2011 after Magistrate Rose Dube threw away the charges.

Magistrate Dube threw away the charges after State prosecutor Jeremiah Mutsindikwa failed to furnish the court with any evidence of the alleged message. Mutsindikwa had pressed ahead with prosecution even though the police’s information technology experts had failed to retrieve the alleged facebook posting by Mavhudzi.

Mavhudzi’s lawyer, Lizwe Jamela of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) had demanded to be furnished with the evidence allegedly posted by the Magwegwe suburb resident praising the Egyptian uprising before commencement of the trial.

Magistrate Dube ordered the State to return the mobile handset to Mavhudzi. Mavhudzi was arrested in February 2011 and charged with subverting a government by unconstitutional means over a comment he allegedly made on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s facebook page expressing his approval of the protests in Egypt that led to the resignation of Hosni Mubarak as president. He was granted bail after spending one month in prison after his lawyers Jamela and Nosimilo Chanayiwa of ZLHR intervened.

Meanwhile, High Court Judge, Justice Joseph Musakwa on Wednesday 21 September 2011, granted bail to two Glenview residents Kerina Gweshe and Memory Ncube, who were arrested on 7 September 2011 and charged with committing murder for allegedly slaying a police officer, Inspector Petros Mutedza. Justice Musakwa ordered the two to reside at their given addresses and to report once a week on Monday to the police. The Judge ordered Gweshe to surrender her passport.

Post published in: Politics

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