Maputo — At the beginning on Friday of the 12th day of the trial of 19 individuals accused of crimes in reference to Mozambique’s largest ever monetary scandal, referred to as the “hidden money owed” defence attorneys tried, for the third time, to gag the press, and for the third time the choose, Efigenio Baptista, rejected their request.
Jaime Sunda, the lawyer for Renato Matusse, a political adviser to former President Armando Guebuza, demanded that there needs to be no stay broadcasting of the testimony given by his consumer. He claimed that broadcasting the picture and the voice of Matusse would injury his proper to honour and his good identify.
Baptista replied that there was a conflict of rules concerned. The Mozambican structure did certainly enshrine the best to honour and to at least one’s good identify. But it surely additionally enshrined the precept of freedom of the press and that trials are public,
When two proper of equal constitutional standing conflict, “the court docket should resolve which proper prevails”, mentioned Baptista. “And on this case, the court docket has determined that the trial is public. The court docket will not be going to vary its thoughts”.
“You are able to do no matter you assume is correct for the defence of your shoppers”, he informed the attorneys, “however the matter has already been determined. You may make this request as many occasions as you want, however nothing will change”.
Sunda retorted that the defence attorneys will now enchantment in opposition to the choose’s ruling.
Baptista had dominated to maintain trial public, with stay broadcasts, proper initially of the proceedings, and once more on Thursday. However the attorneys are persisting – a few of their shoppers clearly don’t need the general public to know what occurred beneath the Guebuza.
An offended alternate occurred later within the morning, when defence attorneys claimed that prosecuting lawyer Sheila Marrengula was utilizing a parallel case file to which the defence didn’t have entry. Each Baptista and Marrengula discovered the accusation absurd.
Marrengula identified that it was the Public Prosecutor’s Workplace which had carried out all of the investigations on which the case file was primarily based, The prosecution had gathered all of the proof, so after all it had its personal copy of the case file – which was an identical to the one within the possession of the court docket.
Baptista warned the attorneys he didn’t just like the indicators of disrespect a few of them had been exhibiting. “I’m very affected person, maybe too affected person”, he mentioned. “This court docket doesn’t wish to take measures envisaged within the regulation, comparable to fining defence attorneys or eradicating them from the room. That isn’t my goal”.
He denied claims that he had proven any bias in favour of the prosecution, and identified that the defence had loved loads of time to seek the advice of the 1000’s of pages within the case file and its appendices. Some had come diligently to his chambers daily to seek the advice of the case, however others had not.
Marrengula insisted that the Public Prosecutor was behaving on this case in precisely the identical manner as in all different main circumstances. Moreover, if any components of the case file go lacking within the court docket room, “we’ve got back-ups. We do not have to elucidate why we’ve got copies, since it’s we who collected the proof”.
“I’ve an important love for this occupation”, she added, “and I can’t enable its function to be discredited”.