Internet expert tries in vain to postpone hearing in Bennett trial

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An information technology expert called in by State prosecutors to support its case against MDC treasurer-general Roy Bennett made a fool of himself when he tried in vain to have the matter postponed to April to allow him to pursue his private business in Mozambique.

Denchort Perekai Mutsetse who works for Africom in Mutare had been called to testify whether emails allegedly printed from impeached witness Peter Michael Hitschmann’s laptop implicating Bennett were genuine.

“I am supposed to go and work in Mozambique starting from tomorrow (Wednesday). I had to sacrifice to come to court. I request that I be called back to court after March when I finish what I am doing there,” asked Mutsetse a request that was turned down by Justice Bhunu who told him court matters took precedents over personal issues.

“You are a citizen of this country and therefore you are compelled to attend court. If you have any problem with your superiors the AG can write to them advising that you were attending court,” ruled Justice Bhunu.

Justice Bhunu allowed the defence team to seek expert opinion before they could proceed to cross examine Mutsetse on Wednesday.

Mutsetse had earlier told the court that e-mail communications could not be faked. He however surprised the court further by asserting that a fake e-mail, which Mtetwa originated in court while trying to prove that such communications could be faked, was actually genuine.

The State had earlier called Senior Assistant Commissioner Ronald Muderedzwa who was the officer commanding Manicaland at the time of Hitschmann’s arrest in 2006 and he testified they received email evidence from Hitschmann upon his request.

He maintained that the emails were genuine because they were printed in his presence. He also denied that Hitschmann was tortured.