By Mary Taruvinga
TORMENTED journalist Hopewell Chin’ono will spend his third night in state custody after a Harare magistrate was Thursday forced to postpone the scribe’s bail ruling when detectives brought him to court late.
Chin’ono is facing charges of defeating the course of justice.
The state, led by Audrey Chogumaira, said Chin’ono created a network with some National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) officers who would often give him inside information on the operations of the judiciary.
Chin’ono was earlier arrested in July on charges of inciting public violence ahead of the foiled July 31 anti-corruption protests which had been organised by the opposition and civil society organisations. He went on to spend nearly two months in remand prison before being granted a $10 000 bail at the High Court.
On the latest charge, Chin’ono is accused of having insinuated that detained Zimbabwe miners boss Henrietta Rushwaya would be corruptly granted bail when she faced serious charges of attempting to smuggle 6kgs gold to Dubai through the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
On Thursday, Chin’ono appeared before Harare magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa.
Chin’ono’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa argued her client was unlawfully before the courts because the 48-hour period permitted by the law for suspects to be presented before court by police upon arrest had lapsed.
“The accused is unlawfully before this court because the accused is only being brought in after the 48-hour detention period allowed by the Constitution has lapsed. This court has no jurisdiction to hear this case and we demand that he be released immediately,” said Mtetwa.
But the magistrate said the point raised required her to hear arguments from both parties before making a ruling.
She ordered the matter to be rolled over to Friday.