Former Finance minister Ignatius Chombo has filed an urgent High Court application seeking permanent stay of his trial, citing infringement of his constitutional rights.
Chombo, who was represented by Lovemore Madhuku when he appeared before magistrate Lazini Ncube, successfully applied for the postponement of the case to August 2 pending the High Court determination on his application.
Madhuku told magistrate Ncube that the High Court should determine whether the State during Chombo’s arrest did not violate his constitutional rights when he was allegedly abducted by State agents who blind-folded him for nine days and subjected him to torture and other forms of inhumane and degrading treatment.
Madhuku told the court that he wrote to the Prosecutor-General, advising him of the need to postpone the trial, but the State indicated that the trial would proceed despite the pending application.
“The attitude of the State and National Prosecution Authority is grossly unreasonable and it undermines the rule of law. Proceeding with the criminal prosecution before a determination renders the latter academic. Why an applicant should be taken through a criminal prosecution that may be declared void?” Madhuku said.
“Chombo has more than a prima facie right. Serious violations of constitutional rights can be remedied by a permanent stay of prosecution.”
Madhuku is seeking the court to permanently stay all the criminal charges levelled against Chombo.
Chombo is facing various allegations of corruption, fraud and criminal nuisance.
Tapiwa Kasema appeared for the State.