Glen view murder trial postponed

HARARE - The trial of 29 MDC activists accused of killing police inspector Petros Mutedza last year has been postponed by a week to October 8 pending bail considerations by High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu.

Lead defence lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa consented to a request for a postponement of the trial to give Bhunu time to prepare his bail ruling.

In a letter to Bhunu, Mtetwa wrote, “In order not to make issues of bail academic it is our respectful view that the court can consider bail during the week of the 1st with the trial recommencing the week beginning the 8th of October.”

The defence team said the decision to request for postponement had arisen on Friday when Bhunu said he would need time away from the trial to prepare the bail ruling.

Justice Bhunu on Friday had indicated he needed about a week to make his judgment on bail after Mtetwa had asked him on progress in the bail ruling.

“We would need to postpone the case for me to prepare my judgment; it would be unreasonable to expect me to make my ruling while the trial is on,” he said on Friday.

While Bhunu has on several occasions denied the MDC activists bail, the defence is still hopeful it shall be granted owing to new circumstances surrounding the case.

During bail hearing last month, the relatives of the deceased exonerated the accused MDC activists.
Tichaona Mutedza, brother of the slain cop claimed his brother had been killed by Zanu PF, as the party members had threatened his family before.

The deceased’s brother together with his father Solomon said they had buried Petros without his genitals.
They also claimed his tongue was sliced off.

The testimonies contradicted state claims that “one strike on the head by MDC activists” had killed the cop.

Mtetwa said the testimonies by the aggrieved, time spent by the accused in prison (16 months) and other new developments constituted exceptional circumstances which should be considered in granting the 29 bail.
The state had alleged that Mutedza had been killed on May 29 last year in Glen View 3 after a brawl with MDC activists when the accused allegedly started shouting at the officers and began throwing stones, empty bottles, steel stool frames and other missiles at them. - Bridget Mananavire


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