Ruling on Mtetwa’s acquittal set for November

A magistrate is to rule on November 26th if prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa is to be acquitted, after the state ‘indicated that it had closed its case’ against her.

Mtetwa’s lawyer Harrison Nkomo told SW Radio Africa that the defence team has up to November 4th to submit the application for Mtetwa’s acquittal, with the state filing on November 11th.

The closure of the case was revealed during the hearing last Friday, but Mtetwa requested an inspection at one of former Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s offices at 13 Bath Road in Avondale, where she is accused of hindering a police search.

Although the state opposed the inspection the magistrate granted it, saying it was only ‘fair’ to grant the defence team its wish to see the exact scene of the alleged crime.

Nkomo told SW Radio Africa that the inspection took place Thursday morning after which the state formally indicated that it had closed its case against Mtetwa.

The defence team immediately notified the court of its intention to apply for her acquittal.

Mtetwa was arrested on 17th March and charged with defeating the course of justice. Police accused her of interfering with the search, alleging that Mtetwa acted violently, shouting at the police to ‘stop whatever you are doing’ when they were searching the office. The state also alleged that Mtetwa threatened to send pictures and video footage of the police she had taken with her phone, to the international media.

Mtetwa has always maintained that all she did was to ask the police to show her a search warrant. – SW Radio Africa

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