Runny tummy stalls trial

Portia Mlilo
CONSULTING: Modise with his lawyer

Justice Zein Kebonang has once again postponed former Fair Grounds Holdings CEO, Michael Montshiwa’s murder trial after the ballistics expert, Admire Mutizwa, failed to give evidence due to an apparent runny stomach.

This was the second time in one week that the matter was postponed as, in the initial court session, Mutizwa’s phone rang unanswered.

The Zimbabwean expert is now in India for studies and was supposed to be cross-examined virtually by the defence.

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He had agreed to testify last Thursday at 4pm local time, but when the prosecution contacted him to resume trial, his phone rang unanswered. Justice Kebonang adjourned court and ordered that the trial resume last Friday afternoon at 4pm.

When court resumed on the set date, State Prosecutor, Moagi Ndlovu, told court that Mutizwa had sent a sick note indicating that he had an upset stomach and was not in a position to continue with trial.

He said the ballistics expert was pleading with court to postpone the matter to October 24th as it will be Diwali holiday in India and he will be able to attend court physically.

“We pray that this honourable court postpone the matter to allow us to request that the government buy Mutizwa flight tickets to attend court physically. He needs to finish giving evidence so that the last witness, Investigating Officer Detective Senior Superintendent Sergeant Marapo can give evidence and we close the matter,” said Ndlovu.

Judge Kebonang ordered that prosecution make arrangements for Mutizwa to come to Botswana on the 21st of October, rest for two days and appear in court on the 24th of October.

Kebonang also advised prosecution to explore an option of taking court to India if it happens the witness is coming with another excuse.

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Mutizwa previously told the court that the bullet cartridge found at the scene matched the weapon used to kill Montshiwa.

He said the bullet came out of the 30-06 rifle that was used to gun him down.

Attorney David Modise and his co-accused, Tumelo Tshukudu, are key suspects in the murder of Montshiwa, which occurred on October 18th, 2015.

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