Komichi trial deferred again

The trial of MDC-T elections agent Morgan Komichi was on Monday deferred to the end of the week after the defence witnesses failed to turn up in court.

On Friday last week the case was postponed to this Monday, pending the calling in of witnesses. But magistrate Elijah Makomo further deferred the case to November 1st after defence witnesses did not show up in court.

According to the Daily News newspaper, one of the defence witnesses was said to be out of the country while the other one could not testify as he sat through all the trial proceedings.

Komichi was arrested on July 28th after he presented to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) an envelope containing ballot papers that were allegedly picked up from a rubbish bin.

The report said Komichi was put to defence on the closure of the case by the state after seven witnesses had provided ‘lead evidence’.

On Monday Komichi is said to have accused ZEC of ‘arranging’ his arrest.

His lawyer Alec Muchadehama reportedly told the court that ZEC mismanaged the July 31st election resulting in some ballot papers going missing. The state’s case against Komichi is that he tampered with the ballot papers and sought to discredit ZEC, accusations which he denies.

Komichi maintains that he responded to an anonymous tip-off that some ballot papers had been dumped in a rubbish bin at the Harare International Conference Centre.

On Thursday last week he told the court that when he handed the papers over to ZEC he wanted Chairperson Justice Rita Makarau ‘to establish whether or not they were authentic’ and to establish how they ended up in a bin. – SW Radio Africa News

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