Monday, October 19, 2009

Roy Bennet's trial postponed again

MUTARE- The trial of Roy Bennett, Zimbabwe’s Deputy Agriculture
Designate, has been postponed to 9 November this year at the High
Court in this eastern border city.
The new trial date was reached after both the State and the defence
team consented.
The defence, led by Beatrice Mtetwa, a Harare-based lawyer, complained
they had not been furnished with the necessary papers and other
materials for them to adequately prepare for the trial.
Mtetwa also challenged Bennett’s indictment saying the State had not
followed the proper procedures. She said written statements from some
key State witnesses were not eligible.
Johannes Tomana, the Attorney General, said the State will furnish
Mtetwa and his team with all the required papers by the end of the day
The State will also furnish Bennett’s lawyers with video footage which
will be used as evidence.
Tomana told High Court judge, Justice Joseph Musakwa, sitting with
assessors, Jivas Chidawanyika and David Magorokosho, that the case
should be finalized because it had far-reaching consequences for the
government of Zimbabwe.
He said the matter had divided the government of Zimbabwe and was
threatening the stability of the country. Tomana said the government
wants the matter to be finalized as soon as possible.
“Its importance has a direct bearing on the stability of the
country,” Tomana said in court. “The government, through JOMIC, wants
this case finalized.”
JOMIC was set up to supervise the performance of the unity government,
formed in February this year after a disputed election.
Bennett faces charges of possessing arms for the purposes of
terrorism, sabotage, banditry and insurgency. If convicted he faces a
possible life sentence.
Bennett told journalists outside the court that he has lost everything
that he has worked for his entire life because of the court case.
“I have been victimized from day one,” he said. “I have been in and
out of prison so many times. The sooner this is over the better.”

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