24 October 2014
   
New Zimbabwe Header
Frelimo candidate wins Mozambique poll
7,000 to attend MDC-T congress, Chamisa
Mujuru 'formed' Marange owner ACR
Zanu PF headed for devastating split
Resign or else, Grace tells VP Mujuru
Youth development fund looted: Nhema
Binga man axes 'witch' uncle, hangs self
Get rid of ‘ghost workers’, says IMF
MORE NEWS
Restore confidence, IMF tells govt
Econet H1 profits down 30pc to US$50m
MORE BUSINESS
Fast and Furious star slams gay claims
TKay Maidza blows hot in Australia
MORE SHOWBIZ
Warriors tumble in Fifa rankings
Quincy Antipas a hit in Denmark
MORE SPORTS
Makanaka: Mazara ignorance and an apology
Ebola scourge: Wake up call for Africa
MORE OPINION
 
Libya: The tragedy of western intervention
Ministers: Technical competence or political value
MORE COLUMNISTS
 
 
Lawyers: Chikurubi escape bid ‘foolish’
01/03/2012 00:00:00
by Phyllis Mbanje
 
Fortress ... Chikubi Maximum Security Prison
 
RELATED STORIES
Prison conditions dire, no water for 10 yrs
Govt denies prisoners starving to death
No money to deport foreign ex-convicts
Zimondi denies prisons overcrowded
Escaped 'child killer' back in jail
Minister barred from prisons visit
Child killer, 2 others in prison break
Khami prison has no doors: report
MDC-T senator wants sex toys for prisoners
Guilty verdicts in prison break trial
30 toddlers jailed with their mums: minister
Guard helps prisoner escape to settle debt
No condoms for inmates: prisons boss
Byo death row inmates denied appeals
Elephant meat for prisoners
Red Cross withdraws prison food aid
Prisoners in Xmas escape
Prisoner’s intestines hang out in court
4 jail guards 'die in training'

LAWYERS representing two men convicted for trying to escape from Chikurubi Maximum Prison have asked the court to be lenient saying the “foolish and amateurish” attempt was made out of desperation.

Albert Matapo and Lucky Mhungu were last Monday found guilty of trying to stage a dramatic break from the country’s most secure prison on April 4, 2010.

Matapo was on remand facing treason charges at the time while Mhungu had been in prison for a while.

But arguing in mitigation ahead of sentencing, the pair’s lawyer Charles Varara urged clemency saying the escape bid was clearly a “mission impossible” adding his clients acted out of desperation.

"No grown man would have managed to go through that small hole any way so it is clear that there was no premeditation it was purely instinctive,” Varara told the court during Thursday’s hearing.

"It should also be noted that first accused (Matopo) was not even supposed to be in jail and second accused (Mhungu) had been in jail for a while and these circumstances prompted the two to act foolishly so the court should be lenient in that regard."

Varara said Matopo harboured some political ambitions which would not have been helped by further incarceration and urged the court to give the pair suspended sentences of no more than three years each.

However, prosecutor Michael Reza said escaping from lawful custody was a serious offence and giving the pair suspended sentences would undermine the judicial system.

"The general public will lose confidence in the justice system if we treat this case lightly,” he said.

"They should get the maximum for this charge of 7 years so that a clear message is sent to other prisoners."

Regarding Matopo’s political ambitions, Reza said the country could do without leaders who do not respect the law but agreed that the escape bid was foolish because accused Chikurubi is a fortress.

"They should first finish their current sentences and then serve for jail breaking otherwise they will not feel the punishment," he added.

The magistrate is expected to hand down sentence on Friday.


Advertisement


 
Email this to a friend Printable Version Discuss This Story
Share this article:

Digg it

Del.icio.us

Reddit

Newsvine

Nowpublic

Stumbleupon

Face Book

Myspace

Fark
 
 
 
comments powered by Disqus
 
RSS NewsTicker