Senior cop challenges AG

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A senior Bulawayo police officer who is facing charges of allegedly giving dangerous drugs to addicts has accused the Attorney-General (AG)s Office of trying to use unorthodox means to convict and deprive him of a fair trial.

This came to light after Assistant Commissioner Dereck Matsika, a medical doctor in the police force, wrote a formal letter of complaint to the AGs Office over the way they were handling his matter.

The AGs Office last month tried to move the case which had already started at a provincial court to the regional court, but Matsika resisted the move.

Early this month they changed prosecutors thrice.
Part of the letter by Matsikas lawyer Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga reads: The court actions of the AGs Office smack of malice and appear to be bent on achieving a conviction in an unorthodox manner.

Firstly, the attempt to change the court and secondly, the random, unexplained change of personnel that leaves the accused unsure of who is conducting his trial.

Matsika demanded the AG accord him the constitutionally-guaranteed right to a fair trial.

He has pleaded not guilty to five counts of contravening the Dangerous Drugs Act, Entertainment and Censorship Act and Firearms Act. He is out of custody on $100 bail.

Allegations are that between November 2010 and July last year he supplied a drug known as pethidine, which is only distributed on prescription, to five drug addicts.

Matsika was also allegedly found in possession of pornographic material at his house when the police went to conduct a search.