Bennett Ruling Postponed

This was after he had heard opposing submissions from Attorney General Johannes Tomana who is adamant the MDC top official has a case to answer and must be put to his defence.

“The application is ill founded and a waste of the court’s time. The accused person should be put to his defence,” said Tomana in his
submissions in court on Wednesday.

Tomana said there was overwhelming evidence against Bennett as was shown by his decision to flee the country when the allegations
surfaced in 2006.

“The link is sufficient. There is evidence to show upon discovery of that link, the accused took flight. There is need for the accused to
explain why he took flight if there was no case,” said Tomana.

Tomana was adamant email evidence produced in court purportedly showing communication between Peter Micheal Hitschmann and Bennett was authentic and that statements of a Mozambican bank account owned by the firearms dealer were seen.

He further said it was not necessary at law for the state’s IT expert one Perekai Mutsetse to hold qualifications from a university in order
to authenticate the emails but his experience in the telecommunications field was enough.

But Bennett’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said the evidence submitted in her client’s case was not sufficient to warrant his being called to
answer for himself.

“The state has made startling submissions,” she said.

“The state has not led any evidence of when Bennett fled the country, where he was when Hitschmann was arrested and what were the
circumstances of his fleeing the country or whether he was in South Africa in the first place. There is no evidence from the state to show that South Africa is now in the habit of granting asylum to fugitives.”

Mtetwa said the state must produce proof it had made attempts to repatriate Bennett.

Bennett, a close ally to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, faces charges of possessing weapons for purposes of banditry and terrorism
as well as incitement. He denies the charges, which carry a death sentence if convicted.