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trial kicks off
June 11, 2013
The trial of
human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, who is accused
of obstructing or defeating the course of justice, opened at the
Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday before provincial magistrate
not guilty to the charge and instead, accused the police of obstructing
her duties on the day in question.
against Mtetwa are that she allegedly shouted at the police officers
accusing them of being undemocratic, acting unlawfully, illegally
The State also
alleges Mtetwa prohibited the police officers from carrying out
their duties while calling them “Mugabe’s dogs”.
deny uttering the words attributed to her in the strongest possible
terms and will, in any event, point out that even if such words
were uttered, which is denied, they do not constitute an offence
as envisaged under the section charged,” Mtetwa’s lawyer
Harrison Nkomo said.
state that the alleged utterances were dreamt up by the State after
the event and were neither put to the accused at the warned-and-cautioned
stage and at remand stage,” he said.
Mtetwa further said the police officers never showed her a search
warrant upon requesting to see one.
witness Chief Superintendent Luckson Mukazhi, who arrested Mtetwa
on the day in question, said when Mtetwa arrived, the warrant had
already been shown to Mpofu.
not a (hard) and fast rule that police require a search warrant,”
In his evidence-in-chief
while being led by Attorney-General’s representative Tawanda
Zvekare, assisted by Purity Chikangaise and Michael Mugabe, Mukazhi
insisted that Mtetwa obstructed the police officers from carrying
out their duties.
when Mtetwa arrived at Mpofu’s residence in Westgate, the
police officers had almost finished searching the property and were
about to search his vehicle.
He said Mtetwa
came in a hurry and “bolted” into the premises whereupon
she started shouting on top of her voice at the officers.
attracted the attention of a number of people who gathered outside
the premises and the commuter omnibuses passing by stopped to watch
the drama,” Mukazhi said.
Turning to the
issue of Mtetwa allegedly taking pictures and threatening to send
them to the outside world, Mukazhi said they searched the phone
and no photos of the scene were found.
The trial continues
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