Nyore Madzianike Senior Court Reporter
THE STATE has cast doubt on the authenticity of suspension orders served on two police officers, Superintendent Douglas Shoko and Detective Chief Inspector Paul Chimhungu, in custody on suspicion of tampering with evidence in Henrietta Rushwaya’s alleged gold smuggling case.
Shoko and Chimhungu claimed in court that they were served with suspension orders while in Remand Prison and they intended to use these for their fresh bail application bid based on changed circumstances, in that there was no way they could now access evidence as they were forbidden to return to work.
Yesterday, their legal practitioner Mr Admire Rubaya asked the court to order the State to verify the authenticity of the orders from the police if there was any doubt that the orders were genuine.
The two are accused of tampering with court documents that incriminated Ali Mohammed, a co-accused of Rushwaya who she originally allegedly fingered as the organiser of the smuggling attempt.
They are being charged with criminal abuse of duty.
“We request that the court assist in making verifications of the suspension orders. They were served with the suspension orders while in State custody. The State is saying there are not genuine which left us wonder if they had typing machines in prison,” said Mr Rubaya.
Magistrate Trynos Utahwashe said he could not order State to verify but told Mr Rubaya and the State led by Mrs Nancy Chandakaona to find ways of getting verification from the police.
Mr Utahwashe then remanded the two in custody to December 29 pending verification of the suspension orders.
Shoko and Chimhungu were stationed at CID Minerals Flora and Fauna and were tasked to investigate the alleged attempted to smuggle 6kg of gold by Henrietta Rushwaya.
Upon her arrest at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Rushwaya is alleged to have told police she was given the four bars by Pakistani businessman Muhammad Ali.
The two officers arrested Ali Mohammed soon after Rushwaya named him, but released him on the same day.
They were alleged to have tampered with documents, which indicated that Rushwaya had submitted documents that were incriminating Ali Mohammed.
They were then arrested and taken to court charged with criminal abuse of duty.