NY Times freelancer case drags on

THE case involving Harare based New York Times freelancer Jeffrey Moyo, who is accused of arranging fake media accreditation for two foreign colleagues, continues to drag on after the ruling was been postponed.

In the last court appearance, Bulawayo provincial magistrate Mark Dzira had set May 31, as the day for Moyo’s ruling.

Speaking to this publication, Tuesday, one of Moyo’s legal representatives Doug Coltart said “the matter was postponed to the 14th of June because the ruling is not yet ready.”

In March, Moyo’s defence council led by prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa had applied for dismissal at the end of the state’s case.

However, the provincial magistrate rejected the request saying the state had provided sufficient evidence for the prosecution.

As a result, Dzira noted that the case was set to go to a full trial where Moyo was expected to present witnesses.

The case took a new twist early this month after the State attempted to cross-examine Moyo, a move that the defence quickly shot down. Efforts by the State to pause questions to Moyo also fell by the wayside after he remained silent.

This was after the magistrate had insinuated that the accreditation cards issued to the foreign journalists were fake.

Moyo was arrested in May last year on allegations of providing fake media accreditation cards to South Africa-based NYT reporters Christina Goldbaum and Joao Silva so they could enter Zimbabwe for a week-long assignment.

Moyo was released on bail three weeks later, while the NYT pair were expelled back to South Africa four days after their arrival.

During the trial, several state witnesses, including Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) officials, testified.

The ZMC which is responsible for issuing media accreditation claimed the journalists had been denied clearance to work in the country and that their names did not appear on their accreditation register.

But the defence argued that it was not Moyo’s fault as it was an internal administration issue which had nothing to do with the accused.

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