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to stand trial again as onslaught against lawyers intensifies
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
December 07, 2009
Republic Police (ZRP) has once again summoned prominent human rights
lawyer and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) member Alec
Muchadehama to stand trial on contempt of court charges barely a
month after Harare Magistrate Archie Wochiunga removed him from
removed Muchadehama, who is currently representing several human
rights activists and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) members
who were abducted and tortured by State security agents before being
charged with treason, banditry, sabotage and plotting to topple
President Robert Mugabe's previous government from remand on 17
November 2009 for the second time in five months.
At the time
of his removal from remand Magistrate Wochiunga only remanded Constance
Gambara, the Clerk of Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, who is jointly charged
with the human rights lawyer for allegedly causing the unlawful
release from custody of his clients, Kisimusi Dhlamini, Gandhi Mudzingwa
and Andrison Manyere to 9 December 2009 for possible trial.
Sergeant Mukucha on Friday 4 December 2009 summoned Muchadehama
to stand trial on the same charges.
This is the
third time in five months that the State has arraigned Muchadehama
before the courts to stand trial initially for defeating or obstructing
the course of justice and for contempt of court after the State
altered the charge.
In June 2009,
Harare Magistrate Catherine Chimanda granted Muchadehama's application
for refusal of further remand after determining that the State-then
represented by Prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema-had failed to show any reasonable
suspicion that he had committed the alleged offence.
also found that the State had failed to show that Muchadehama had
an intention to commit the offence.
ZLHR is perturbed
by the State's decision to revive a case in which a Magistrate once
dismissed the performance of prosecutors as "nonsense and ineptitude
of the worst type".
on Muchadehama is tantamount to harassment of human rights defenders.
Muchadehama has become a target of State persecution because of
his work in successfully representing several human rights defenders.
ZLHR calls upon
the authorities to stop the harassment of legal practitioners for
exercising their professional duties.
Visit the ZLHR
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