Zimbabwe Court Denies Maguwu Bail Again

140 95 Rapaport News

RAPAPORT… Centre for Research and Development (CRD) director Farai Maguwu was again denied bail today in Zimbabwe, following a court hearing, according to a source. Maguwu was jailed 28 days ago for allegedly giving what the state claimed were falsified documents to Kimberley Process (KP) monitor Abbey Chikane. Maguwu remains at the prison’s hospital, suffering from conditions believed to have been brought on by abuse and exposure to extreme cold. 

Investigator inspector Henry Dowa told the Harare court that police needed more time to investigate the case and that Maguwu remained a flight risk. He also said it remained difficult for investigators to reach Chikane, as he is “very mobile,” to record  a statement on the matter and to request the surrender of documents allegedly given to him by Maguwu. Dowa stated that he went to South Africa to meet with Chikane, but upon his arrival, found out that the monitor was in Israel for the KP plenary session.

“Chikane’s statement is irrelevant,” said Maguwu’s attorney, Beatrice Mtetwa. “[Chikane’s] document is not forming the basis of the charge Maguwu is facing. It is inconceivable that an officer with 25 years’ experience would go to South Africa without proper appointment. He did not provide any evidence that he went to South Africa.”

Dowa told the court that he’d traveled to South Africa using his police identification only, as his passport had expired, but the dates of his travel appeared to be in dispute.

Police said that they needed more time to access a laptop seized from Maguwu’s home.  Mtetwa specifically stated that access to the laptop was not an issue since the charges emanated from a document that is already in the court’s possession and that therefore, it was unnecessary to look for further information in the laptop.

Dowa added that police have engaged INTERPOL to locate those who allegedly corresponded with Maguwu, but was unable to document this alleged correspondence.

In defense of Maguwu,  Mtetwa concluded to the court that Dowa had not, in fact, been investigating the case as he claimed, nor had he investigated charges that her client had been tortured in Zimbabwe prison. 

She added that Dowa himself had been involved with cases of prison abuse and torture in Kosovo. Furthermore, she argued that Dowa had not even emailed  Chikane and others to request an appointment or evidence. Dowa denied the Kosovo torture claim.

Mtetwa is already working on an appeal in the wake of the hearing.

The source concluded, “We have reached a stage where the state gets all it asks of the court and the accused suffers in jail. We have also reached a stage where it matters not what the arguments or evidence reveal; the stakes are so high, nothing matters. It is disappointing, but not discouraging. As long as nothing kills him, one day they will have to watch him walk free.”

Additional reporting provided by Acquire Media.

LH

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