New Zimbabwe.com

BITI Trial: ZRP investigating officer refuses to answer questions

By Court Reporter


THE investigating officer in the trial of MDC deputy national chairperson Tendai Biti refused to answer questions last week, drawing a sharp rebuke from the former finance minister’s defence attorney.

The opposition politician is on trial for contravening electoral laws by allegedly declaring MDC leader Nelson Chamisa the winner of last July’s presidential elections.

Biti denies the charges.

He was arrested while trying to seek political asylum in Zambia saying his life was in danger in the deadly aftermath of the disputed vote.

He is arguing that he was unlawfully brought before the Harare courts as he was abducted by State agents from Zambia.

During cross examination by defence attorney Beatrice Mtetwa last week, investigating officer Jealousy Mabasa confirmed that Biti had crossed into Zambia before they arrested him.

Mabasa however, refused to be drawn further on the matter, simply answer “no comment” to questions by Mtetwa.

Court heard that it was Mabasa who led the team which picked up Biti from Chirundu border post and brought back to Harare.

“Who was in your team when you went to Chirundu,” asked Mtetwa.

Responded Mabasa; “I can’t tell because it is a matter of national security. I can’t do that your Worship and I’m serious.”

He responded with “no comment” to further questions, drawing a sharp rebuke from Mtetwa.

“You failed to investigate a case which a recruit from Morris Depot could have easily investigated,” said the defence attorney.

“You have no comment on things you saw with your own eyes because you got what you wanted.

“You had a big fish (Biti) arrested and got promoted from Vehicle Theft Squad to an Assistant Commissioner yet your investigations are worse than those of a student.”

The State closed its case after calling two more witnesses.

Ruling is expected to be handed down on February.

Jonathan Murombedzi prosecuted.