Journalists were barred from attending the trial of former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko which commenced today after the state applied that the defense outline should be heard on camera.
Lavet Masuku, representing the state told the court that Mphoko’s defence outline contained serious matters which exposes state security.
Masuku cited the Official Secrets Act which he said protects certain information from the public should it be deemed to expose state security.
“Section 3(1)(a) says the court should not allow the public when the matter is a threat to national security,” submitted the state.
However, Mphoko’s lawyer Tembinkosi Magwaliba demanded that close family members to the accused be allowed to attend court when his defense outline is being heard.
Magistrate Trynos Utahwashe who is presiding over the matter ruled that only his wife and daughter will be allowed to attend the court proceedings.
Mphoko is answering to charges of criminal abuse of office after he allegedly helped ZINARA officials to sneak out of prison cells midnight.
He was nabbed shortly after the removal of former president Robert Mugabe in November 2017.