By Daniel Chigundu
US national Martha O’Donovan who was arrested yesterday at 5am on charges of undermine the President and trying to remove a constitutionally elected government, has appeared before the Harare Magistrate court to answer toyour the charges.
From the court proceedings so far, we had heard that the police have been investigating the case since September this year and applied for a search warrant on the 2nd of November.
O’Donovan was arrested at 5:40am, by five CID detectives, lead investigation officer Detective Inspector Bernias Murira who has been a police officer for 21 years told the court that after the arrest and search, it took him about 6hours to write 1 page Warned and Cautioned Statement.
Murira also told the court that, upon further investigation, they realized that the accused had also committed a crime of trying to remove a the government.
This charge was brought up about 12 hours after the accused had already been arrested (17:00), according to law it is illegal to arrest someone for the purpose of investigating.
O’Donovan through her legal team led by Obey Shava of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is challenging the legality of her arrest.
Shava, said her client is improperly before the court on the second charge because it did not inform the accused of the reasons of arrest and the charge should fall away.
State further, puts it that the issue in question is not whether O’Donovan committed the crime but that whether the State complied with the constitution when they made the arrest.
“The statement by the Investigating Officer is consistent with the search warrant that they had gone to to confiscate her gadgets which they believed was used to commit a crime and thatwe should stay.
“It is my humble submissions that the court should find the accused to be improperly before it,” he said.
The magistrate has asked for 15-20 minutes break to decide on the issue….more to follow
By Daniel Chigundu