Judge Orders Release Of Coup Plotters

In his ruling Tuesday, Justice Musakwa said the State’s failure to bring them to trial within the stipulated six month grace period
following their re-indictment for treason, was in violation of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act and this warranted their release.

“The appellants were not liable to be committed to custody upon being re-indicted,” read Musakwa’s ruling.
However, the charges against the accused shall remain.Harare lawyer Charles Hwarara, who is representing the accused was non
committal about the ruling saying the State was in the habit ofignoring court rulings often passed against it.

“ I hope they will be released this time but I do not know what the Attorney General’s office is thinking of doing after this ruling. All
I can say is that if they think of keeping them inside obviously its something illegal and might have problems for them because they
obviously know that the law has been clearly spelt out, ” he said.

Hwarara did not rule out any legal suit against the state saying any such action would be effected with the instructions of the accused.
Matapo, a former army captain and alleged ring leader in the plot was arrested in 2007 together with six other suspects namely Nyasha Zivuku, Oncemore Mudzurahona, Emmanuel Marara, Patson Mupfure,Shingirai Mutemachani, and Rangarirai Maziofa on allegations of plotting to violently topple President Mugabe and replace him with the
powerful Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa.Mnangagwa has since distanced himself from the group and denied the allegations describing them as ‘stupid’.