Thursday, September 15, 2016

High Court Reprieve for Zimbabwe Sunday Mail Trio
File pic: Sunday Mail editor Mabasa Sasa, reporters Brian Chitemba (in brown jacket) and Tinashe Farawo after being freed on bail at the Harare Magistrates’ Court

Tendai Rupapa
Senior Court Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

The Sunday Mail editor Mabasa Sasa, investigations editor Brian Chitemba and reporter Tinashe Farawo, accused of communicating falsehoods, were yesterday removed from remand after their application for stay of proceedings was granted by the High Court.

The State will proceed by way of summons.

The three yesterday appeared before magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe who subsequently removed them from remand after the defence served the court with the High Court order.

Proceedings were stalled pending the determination of their application for review filed at the High Court.

Sasa, Chitemba and Farawo approached the High Court for a review of the court’s ruling on their application for discharge.

The trio had their application for discharge at the close of the State case dismissed by Mr Mahwe.

Having lost the application, the trio then filed an application for review at the High Court.

While that application was pending, they filed an urgent chamber application seeking a stay of the criminal trial at the magistrates’ court which was then granted.

The trio was facing charges of communicating or publishing false statements prejudicial to the State.

It is alleged that following the killing of 22 elephants by poachers using suspected cyanide poison, the accused published a story headlined “Top cop fingered in poaching saga”.

It is alleged that the three knew that no assistant commissioner of the police was being investigated for such a crime.

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