Bennett Judge Changes His Mind

Roy Bennett with his lawyers today, 10 November 2009 at the High Court in Harare, (his main lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, stands with her back to the camera)  where they had been called by the Judge who indicated that he was ready with his ruling on the applications of both the defence lawyers and the Attorney-General, who is acting personally as the prosecutor ni this case.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 10 November 2009

I just spoke with Beatrice Mtetwa, the lawyer for Roy Bennett, about today's ruling on the applications by Roy Bennett's lawyers and the Attorney-General. The judge in the case first indicated yesterday that he would only be ready "provisionally" with his decision on Wednesday (tomorrow).

Later that same day (yesterday), the judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, sent a message to Bennett's lawyers that he had already reached a decision on the application and would make his ruling today, Tuesday, 10 November 2009 at 11a.m. at the High Court in Harare.

But it appears someone has gotten to him.

When Roy Bennett and his lawyers showed up today at the courts, they were told that the judge had changed his mind and decided that he will only deliver his ruling on Wednesday after all.

Bennett, who stands accused of amassing arms of war to remove Robert "The Solution" Mugabe from power by force, had arrived at the court in good time, together with his lawyers. He now has to wait until tomorrow, in a development that shows there are hands trying to manipulate things from behind the scenes.

The ruling the judge is supposed to give, as I explained in a previous article, will have the effect of stopping Bennett's trial dead in its tracks if the judge grants the Defence's application. If he dismisses it, then things go on as before and only the final verdict will have an impact. Mugabe has already vowed that Bennett will never be acquitted.


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