Evidence against Bennett “fiction’: Lawyers

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Lawyers representing Roy Bennett on Monday applied for his discharge at the close of the State’s case, saying evidence brought before the High Court was “fiction” which did not warrant the MDC treasurer to be put to his defence.

However, the State prosecution team led by Attorney General Johannes Tomana, said it wanted to make a submission on the request for a discharge.

Bennett faces charges of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism. He is alleged to have stockpiled weapons of war with the aim of removing President Robert Mugabe’s regime from power.

In her application for a discharge, defence lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said the State had failed to produce evidence that linked Bennett to the alleged offence.

“The entire summary consists of fiction, which does not warrant the accused to be place to his defence,” Mtetwa said.

Mtetwa, assisted by Trust Maanda, said the evidence brought by State witnesses was discredited and did not link Bennet to the alleged crime.

“It will be a miscarriage of justice to place the accused on his defence,” She said.

The AG did not make any immediate submissions, but asked to be allowed more time to prepare – attracting Mtetwa’s ire who argued they should have come prepared.

Bennett is Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s choice for deputy minister of agriculture.

For more than a year Mugabe has stubbornly refused to swear in the MDC treasurer as a deputy minister. Mugabe said he will only do so if the courts clear Bennett of the “serious” charges he was facing.

Bennett’s lawyers and MDC colleagues have maintained all along that the charges were “trumped up” and were politically- motivated.

Justice Chinembiri Bhunu will rule on the matter on today.