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Journalist trial postponed
August 28, 2007

The trial of Gift Phiri who is facing charges of contravening Section 79 (1) of the repressive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) which opened at the Harare Magistrates Court on 27 August 2007 and was expected to continue on 28 August 2007 has been postponed to 30 August 2007.

Detective Inspector Rangwani, one of the arresting officers who allegedly assaulted Phiri following his arrest in Harare was expected to give evidence in court today. He, however, failed to turn up as expected as he was said to be off-duty leaving Harare Magistrate Stanley Chimedza with no option but to postpone the matter.

At the commencement of the trial, the defence team of Beatrice Mtetwa and Harrison Nkomo together with MISA-Zimbabwe Legal Officer Wilbert Mandinde raised the issue of the outstanding investigations into the torture and detention of Phiri as ordered by the remand court on 5 April 2007.

He was allegedly severely assaulted by the police while in custody following his arrest in Harare on 1 April 2007.

Phiri, whose charge relates to practicing journalism without accreditation between August 2006 and April 2007 pleaded not guilty to stringing for The Zimbabwean when the trial opened.

Prosecutor Editor Mavuto has so far led evidence from Academy Bvumai Chinamora who is the Principal Research, Investigations and Monitoring Officer with the state-controlled Media and Information Commission (MIC).

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