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Photojournalist Anderson Manyere granted bail, but state prosecutor appeals order

(MISA/IFEX) - On 9 April 2009, High Court Judge Charles Hungwe granted bail to freelance photojournalist Anderson Manyere. As part of his bail conditions Manyere was ordered to deposit US$1,000 with the Clerk of Court and to report once a week at the Malbereign police station.

However State Prosecutor Chris Mutangadura immediately gave notice to the court of his intention to appeal against the bail grant. The effect of this notice means that the bail will be suspended until the appeal is heard. The High Court should grant leave to appeal to the prosecution within seven days.

Manyere, who was represented by Alec Muchadehama, made a fresh application for bail premised on the grounds of changed circumstances. Muchadehama argued that the passage of time had changed since Manyere's arrest, thus changing the complexion of the case preferred against his client. He stated that the fact that Manyere's alleged offence entailed an alleged plot to topple the government and that the formation of the inclusive government meant it was no longer possible for the accused to execute that plot since the party he was alleged to support was now part of the same government.

In concurring the judge stated that cognizance had to be taken of the fact that the presumption of innocence operated in favour of the accused at any time before he is convicted. He further stressed that the accused ought to be admitted to bail unless the interests of justice dictated otherwise. The judgement came pursuant to the denial of bail to the same applicant by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku at the Supreme Court on 6 April.

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