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High Court defers Mawarire bail ruling

BY CHARLES LAITON

The judge said he will give his determination on Tuesday next week.

Mawarire was arrested a fortnight ago, and is being charged with contravening section 22(2) (a) (iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act or in the alternative being charged with inciting public violence as envisaged in section 187(1) (b) as read with section 36(1) (a) of the code.

The State, however, opposed Mawarire’s bail on the basis that he was likely to commit further offences of a similar nature, likely to abscond and not stand trial and further that his release is likely to undermine or jeopardise the objectives or proper functioning of the criminal justice system.

But, Mawarire through his lawyer Advocate Tonderai Bhatasara, maintained his innocence challenging the State to prove if his utterances were in any way close to inciting violence or an attempt to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

Justice Chitapi said it was the duty of the courts to ensure that any person suspected to have committed an offence would be released on bail coupled with conditions that would ensure that the administration of justice would not be compromised.

The judge said in Mawarire’s case, the court could order that he be ordered not to make any inciting statements until his matter is completed. The judge also said he had taken judicial notice of what transpired during the three days when the country was shut down as a result of the strike.

Justice Chitapi also asked the State to consider the strength of its case before making a conclusion that Mawarire could abscond if released on bail.

source:newsday

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