Defence lawyers representing the 29 MDC-T activists accused of murdering a police officer in Glen View last year have accused the State of stage-managing events to prejudice the accused.
Lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa objected to the physical identification of one of the accused persons by a State witness Solomon Mushaninga, a Mabvuku police officer.
She argued that there were no special circumstances to warrant a dock identification of the accused persons when the police failed to do an identification parade, a year after the accused had been arrested.
Mushaninga had said he recognised Lust Maengahama, one of the accused sitting in the front row because of a swelling on his forehead, but Mtetwa argued that the evidence could be stage-managed because Mushaninga had been entering the courtroom monitoring the proceedings while in the media gallery despite the fact that he was a witness.
“He is sitting in the front row, easily identifiable by the mark on his forehead. It is clearly stage-managed to prejudice the accused. Such type of evidence is prejudicial to the accused who is still innocent,” said Mtetwa.
But State prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba said it was legally correct for a witness to do dock identification which the defence counsel can put to test during cross examination.
Mushaninga maintained that he vividly recognised the fourth accused (Maengahama) who allegedly attempted to hit him with a frame stool while he attempted to run away from the MDC-T activists in Munyarari Bar in Glen View where Inspector Petros Mutedza died.
High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu ruled there was no merit in Mtetwa’s objections and that dock identification was akin to an identification parade since there were many accused persons to identify from.
The trial continues on Monday with Justice Bhunu who is still expected to make a ruling on the bail application.