WAR veterans’ leader Christopher Mutsvangwa’s son, Neville, yesterday appeared before Mutare magistrate, Langton Mukwengi facing fresh allegations of public indecency, criminal insult and attempted rape.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Nevillee (36) was not asked to plead and was remanded to November 14 on $200 bail.
As part of his bail conditions, the court ordered him to continue staying at his given Harare address, report once a week at Highlands Police Station and not to interfere with State witnesses.
In September this year, Neville had a rape charge against him filed by a 43-year-old Harare woman withdrawn before plea after the complainant accused the police of charging him wrongly.
Prosecutor Fletcher Karombe told the court that on October 29 this year, Neville was at Forest Hills Hotel in Vumba in the company of the complainant (name withheld), a friend and cousin.
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Sometime during the day, Neville was allegedly seen peeping through a partially closed door, as his female friend and cousin were bathing in their bedroom.
Later in the day, he allegedly took out his manhood and started masturbating in the presence of the complainant and her cousin.
This forced the two women to look for alternative accommodation, leaving the accused alone in the room.
An hour later, the complainant and her sister returned to the room to collect their belongings.
Neville allegedly made sexual advances to the complainant, but she spurned him.
In a fit of rage, Neville allegedly forcibly undressed the complainant and assaulted her with his belt, prompting her to scream for help.
Several hotel patrons and staff members then rushed to the scene and rescued her.
The hotel manager, Patrick Muponda, then escorted the complainant to the police station, leading to Neville’s arrest.
Taji Khokhar gets bail in another murder case
The Express Tribune
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Friday granted bail to Imtiaz Ali Khokhar, also known as Taji, on medical grounds in a murder case.
While granting the bail, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the IHC restrained Khokhar from travelling abroad and ordered to place his name on the Exit Control List (ECL).
Moreover, the IHC has directed the trial court to decide the murder case within a period of three months.
The court granted bail to Taji, the younger brother of former National Assembly Deputy Speaker Nawaz Khokhar, against two sureties of Rs2.5 million each.
According to the prosecution, Khokhar had had a land dispute with one Ishtiaqul Salikeen and others in the Tarlai area of Islamabad. On February 19, 2013, his guards went to Salikeen’s house to settle the dispute, but it quickly escalated into an exchange of fire in which Slikeen’s associate, Khalid Farooq, was killed.
The police had subsequently booked Khokhar and his associates in the murder case. Later, the Islamabad administration had issued a notification declaring that Khokhar’s trial for the murder would be held in the Adiala jail.
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While urging the court to grant Khokhar bail on medical grounds, Khokhar’s counsel Zahid Bukhari argued that the health of his client was deteriorating and required special medical attention.
In the bail plea, Bukhari said that Khokhar had long been suffering from several ailments including high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney problems. He contended that the health of his client had further deteriorated during recent days since he had also suffered cardiac complications.
While talking to The Express Tribune, Bukhari said that Khokhar is currently admitted to the Holy Family Hospital (HFH) where he receives dialysis. He added that two medical boards, one inside the jail and the second at the HFH had suggested that Khokhar receives treatment for his kidneys at a proper hospital.
Hearing Adjourned: No one testified against Taji Khokhar
While disagreeing with the prosecution’s version, Bukhari said that Khokhar was not present at the crime scene and that a few men had gone to Salikeen’s residence claiming affiliation with Khokhar and opened fire.
As previously reported, Khokhar is facing several cases of murder, kidnapping of government officials, land grabbing and other crimes in different police stations of the twin cities. Earlier in March, an additional and district sessions court in Rawalpindi had granted bail to Khokhar on similar medical grounds in a separate murder case.
The court granted bail on two sureties of Rs500,000 each.
13 crimes removed from death penalty list
By Zhao Yinan (China Daily)
BEIJING – China’s newly revised Criminal Law eliminated the death penalty for 13 economy-related crimes, as the country moved to restructure its penalty system and better protect human rights.
Fifty-five crimes are now punishable by death, according to the eighth Amendment to the Criminal Law, which was discussed and passed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) at a bimonthly session that closed on Friday.
The amendment marks the first time since the Criminal Law took effect in 1979 that the country has reduced the number of crimes subject to the death penalty.
“The 13 crimes that have been exempted from the death penalty are mainly economic and non-violent crimes,” Lang Sheng, vice-chairman of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee, said at a press conference following the three-day session.
Crimes that are exempt from capital punishment include tax fraud and “fraudulent activities involving financial bills”. Also wiped from the list are offences involving the smuggling of cultural relics or of precious and rare animals.
Lang said the amendment aims to “temper justice with mercy”.
Making the use of the death penalty more rare has come with a decrease in the number of years violent offenders can have removed from their prison terms through probation.
Altogether, the changes “embody the humaneness of the country”, he said.
The amendment follows a 2007 decision in which the Supreme People’s Court gave itself the responsibility of reviewing and approving all verdicts involving capital punishment. Since then, the court has overturned 10 percent of the death sentences handed down in the country.
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Zhou Guangquan, a law professor at Tsinghua University and a member of the NPC Law Committee, told China Daily that the country’s tradition of punishing crimes harshly can lead to an overuse of the death penalty, tarnishing China’s image for foreign observers.
“But the country is unlikely to abolish the death penalty in one fell swoop, since the total number of criminal cases in China is still in an upward trend,” he said.
The amendment also stipulates that the death penalty will not be imposed on people who are 75 or older at the time of their trials, unless they are convicted of crimes involving “exceptional cruelty”.
In the past, the only exemptions allowed for death sentences applied to offenders who were younger than 18 when they committed their crimes and women who were pregnant at the time of trial.
The same bimonthly session also saw the passage of a Vehicles and Vessels Taxation Law and a Law on Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection, which aims at better preserving heritages of historic, literary, artistic or scientific value.
As a result of the first measure, the owners of the 199 million vehicles registered in China will have to pay an annual tax levied according to their vehicles’ engine capacities.
The law, which is aimed at encouraging the conservation of energy and the protection of the environment, will impose tax amounts ranging from 60 yuan ($9.13) to as much as 5,400 yuan.