Cop murder trial resumes

Justice Chinembiri Bhunu

By Tererai Karimakwenda
05 November 2012

The trial of 29 MDC-T officials and activists, accused of murdering a Glen View cop last year, resumed at the High Court Monday, following postponements delays by the judge who had claimed to be ill.

The trial was postponed last Wednesday after Justice Chinembiri Bhunu summoned the lawyers to his chambers and said he had problems with his legs. Without specifying exactly what the problem was, the judge postponed the trial until Monday.

Defence lawyer Gift Mtisi told SW Radio Africa that the trial continued with testimony from the investigating officer, Chief Inspector Clever Ntini from the Law and Order division. Ntini was in charge of several other officers who were involved in investigating the murder of Officer Petros Mutedza in Glen View last May.

Mtisi said this was the first time that he felt the trial proceeded without any major delays. “We had just a minor delay in the morning, when we started an hour late. But things went well today,” Mtisi said.

The defence continues cross-examination of Officer Ntini on Tuesday.
The defence team has been critical of the slow pace of the trial so far, with the state and judges giving various excuses for postponement. The excuses have included absent witnesses as well as prosecutors and judges failing to turn up, claiming to be ill.

The MDC-T insists the delays are deliberate and meant to prolong the detention of their officials and party members. They say officer Petros Mutedza was killed by unknown revellers at a Glen View pub. But the state claims he was killed by MDC-T members who held a meeting at the pub.

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