Charges against VOP trustees dropped


0

Charges against the trustees of the Voice of the People radio station were literally dropped when magistrate William Bhila removed them from further remand.

 The prosecution wanted the trustees who included Arnold Tsunga and Isabella Matambanadzo who had travelled from the United States and South Africa, respectively, for the hearing, to be remanded for the fourth time so that it could amend the charges.

Bhila agreed with defence attorney Beatrice Mtetwa that continued delays were a hardship on the defendants.

The trustees were charged with broadcasting without a licence.

VOP broadcast through Radio Netherlands.

 

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 06HARARE1192, VOP UPDATE: COURT DROPS CHARGES

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

06HARARE1192

2006-09-27 08:09

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO1481

RR RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #1192 2700809

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 270809Z SEP 06

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0643

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1325

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1175

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1329

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0086

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0590

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0955

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1383

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3757

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1152

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1800

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUFGNOA/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1546

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001192

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/26/2016

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: VOP UPDATE: COURT DROPS CHARGES

 

REF: REFTEL: HARARE 112 AND PREVIOUS

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher W. Dell under Section 1.4 b/d

 

¶1. (SBU) At the latest installment of the trial of the Voice

of the People (VOP) trustees for illegally broadcasting

(Reftel for background) on September 25, Magistrate William

Bhila removed the accused from further remand, a move that

essentially drops the charges against the seven defendants.

The state prosecutor asked the court for a fourth delay to

amend the charges to direct the proceedings against the trust

as a legal entity, rather than the individuals. Bhila,

however, agreed with defense attorney Beatrice Mtetwa’s

argument that continued delays were a hardship for the

defendants, including Arnold Tsunga and Isabella

Matambanadzo, who traveled from the U.S. and South Africa,

respectively, to attend the hearing.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

¶2. (C) While the state’s case against the VOP is dead for

now, the prosecutor’s comments suggest that the case may

resurface at a later date but targeted at the organization,

rather than the individuals. The state’s fumbling of the

charges, however, shows that it never had a strong case

against the trustees and was instead using the trial as a

means of harassment. Meanwhile, even if the state brings

charges against the trust, the impact is likely to be minimal

as VOP has already begun to relocate its offices to South

Africa.

DELL

 

(6 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *