Top Zimbabwe rights lawyer in dock

2013-06-10 20:58
Beatrice Mtetwa (File, AFP)

Beatrice Mtetwa (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - Prominent Zimbabwean rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa pleaded not guilty when her trial on charges of obstructing justice during a police raid began on Monday.

Mtetwa was arrested in March while representing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's aides during a raid at their offices.

A police officer testified that Mtetwa insulted detectives searching the premier's staff offices by calling them "Mugabe's dogs" and saying they were a confused lot.

Mtetwa's lawyer Harrison Nkomo said the charges were "dreamt up" by the police and the prosecution to build a case against the lawyer, who has represented many political and rights activists.

"If anyone was obstructed, it was the accused who was hindered in the discharge of her duty as a legal practitioner," Nkomo said.

"She will contend that the prosecution is malicious and this is the culmination of many previous attempts to pin something on her."

According to Nkomo, the police did not show her a warrant to search her clients' offices, denying that she obstructed the police.

Mtetwa claims that in an effort to beef up the case, police have approached her former husband to dig up "dirt" about her past.

The Swaziland-born lawyer further alleges that secret police also went to the immigration department to check if her papers were in order.

Mtetwa's arrest and detention sparked international condemnation, and the Law Society of Zimbabwe said it was an effort to "intimidate lawyers" in the southern African nation.

Read more on:    morgan tsvangirai  |  beatrice mtetwa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.