Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono’s lawyer Beatrice Mtwetwa says they are going to appeal to the High Court for bail.
Chin’ono, who was arrested last week on the charges of defeating the court of justice, was this morning denied bail by Harare Magistrate, Marehwanazvo Gofa.
“We are appealing to the High Court for bail obviously.” Said Beatrice Mtetwa.
Hopewell Chin’ono’s bail was denied on grounds that if he is released, he would likely commit another crime.
Beatrice Mtetwa argued that the bail denial was not justified as Hopewell had proven that he had no criminal record.
“In this country the constitution provides for the presumption of innocence . Hopewell provided evidence which was not disputed saying that he has no criminal conviction of whatever kind anywhere else in the world.
“How can the constitution say you are presumed innocence before proven guilty when the court is already saying he has committed a crime when he has not?” She said.
Ms Mtetwa said that she was not surprised during this morning’s ruling as the Magistrate(Marehwanazvo Gofa) had also ruled the same when she, Beatrice Mtetwa was arrested.
“The anti corruption courts at rotten row are being abused.
“The magistrate also once denied me bail when I was arrested on the bases that if I am to get bail I would commit similar offences so no surprises in their ruling.” She said.
When probed further by this reporter that the rather unfriendly comment she allegedly made in court about PPs saying they are corrupt that’s why they don’t have cars could have made negative effects on the outcome of the rulings, Beatrice Mtetwa had this to say:
“You are grossly misinformed-the comment was that if there was no corruption in the country,prosecutors would be well paid & could afford to buy cars as happens in other countries.There was no suggestion whatsoever that prosecutors are corrupt & none of them took it like that.Infact the comment was in sympathy with their situation.
The context was also that the court always starts late without warning & on the day in question we had started at around 3 instead of 2.15 & at 4 they wanted to get an adjournment to go catch ZUPCO buses. This meant that the Accused had spent all day in court but had utilised only one hour. All the applications made could have been done in one sitting if the full court hours had been utilised.
You must also not forget that this case is about Hopewell highlighting corruption in high places & in his evidence he alluded to the fact that the gold being smuggled out of the country per month could run our health institutions smoothly every month & that health professionals would be adequately remunerated”