MDC bail ruling postponed indefinitely

High Court Judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu has postponed indefinitely the bail ruling of the 29 MDC members who are in remand prison facing false charges of murdering a police officer in Glen View, Harare last May and of public violence.

Today, the defence lawyers finished making their submissions before Justice Bhunu, in a case that has been postponed eight times since it started two weeks ago.

The State is denying that they be granted bail claiming they are a flight risk as their trial is now pending.

The 29 were indicted for trial on 1 March 2012.

During today’s hearing, the defence lawyer, Charles Kwaramba made a separate bail application for Solomon Madzore, the MDC Youth Assembly chairperson,

Jefias Moyo and Paul Rukanda who were in remand prison after they were denied bail earlier as they were said to be a flight risk.

Kwaramba said there was no reason to deny the three bail as their indictment had not made the State case stronger but had weakened it.

“The indictment has not strengthened the State’s case but rather weakened it. The indictment does not show a case which is stronger than the accused and their co-accused who were previously granted bail,” said Kwaramba.

“The question then is, looking at the indictment papers, is there anything peculiar on the accused which makes their case any worse than the co-accused?” he asked.

Kwaramba said Madzore had even gone further by producing an alibi through his family’s doctor who signed an affidavit confirming that when the alleged offence took place, Madzore had accompanied his wife to the doctor as she was feeling unwell.

“We have an alibi which is intact and not false. The question begs an answer of what more can an accused person do to prove his innocence,” said Kwaramba.

He said the offer by Madzore, Moyo and Rukanda to be released on stringent conditions is not an admission by the accused that the case is strong but to be liberated on difficult conditions.

Meanwhile, before the start of the bail hearing, Kwaramba raised complaints from the accused who said they were feeling insecure by the presence of several police officers and State security agents who were attending court, taking notes and gazing at them in a very suspicious manner.

He said what was of worry was that some of the police officers might be State witnesses in the trial and are not supposed to attend court but only when they are called to testify.

“In court yesterday, I saw some gentlemen sitting on the section reserved for media personnel. One of them is a police officer from the Central Investigation Department’s Law and Order Section which investigated the matter. I could not identify the other one but I am informed that he is employed in the security sector.

“What is worrying was that they were throwing gazes at the accused and taking notes before I raised the issue with the registrar and they were told to leave,” said Kwaramba.

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