A POLICE officer involved in the inquest on the late CMED board chairperson, Lesslie John Denn, has quashed speculative reports that he committed suicide.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Knowledge Duri told Harare magistrate, Lazini Ncube on Friday that investigations revealed that Denn was murdered, with evidence at the scene of the incident burnt.
Denn, who was also director of NemChem (Private) Limited, was allegedly found dead inside his bedroom at his Borrowdale home in May last year with gunshot wounds on his upper torso.
His body was discovered by his fiancée, Ashton Pillary.
Duri’s testimony corroborates the one given last week by CID forensic and ballistic expert, Detective Inspector Admire Mutizwa.
Mutizwa told the court that the gun used at the crime scene was recovered from a drawer with the head and spent cartridge missing, while Denn’s body was found lying on a burnt mattress.
In his evidence-in-chief, Mutizwa said the hands of a person, who commits suicide by shooting himself, are normally found locked on the gun.
Duri told the court that in his five years experience dealing with suicide matters, he had concluded that Denn was murdered. He was being cross-examined by Pillary’s lawyer, Dumisani Mthombeni.
“I want you to reconcile what you told this court and what is in your statement. It is clear that you lack expertise in ballistics, hence, your opinion is laymen’s opinion, not facts, what would be your comment on that?” Mthombeni asked.
“What I established was not an opinion, but an observation. I have dealt with such cases for five years and I can tell when there was a foul play or not,” Duri said.
Mthombeni insisted that the two experts did nothing with regard to establishing the cause of Denn’s death.
Duri said Pillary had admitted during investigations that she ordered their groundsman, John Choruma, to burn the mattress “to get rid of evidence”.
The inquest is expected to continue today with Francesca Mukumbiri representing the State.