Herald assistant news editor Takunda Maodza, who is accused of attempted extortion, was yesterday removed from remand by Harare magistrate Ms Vongai Muchuchuti.
The State had been warned that failure to start the trial would result in Maodza being freed.
Ms Muchuchuti said prosecutor Ms Anesu Matorofa had to proceed by way of summons since State witnesses were not available.
Ms Matorofa had applied to remand the matter to next month citing that the complainant, Mr Isaac Levy, will be available only at that time as he is out of the country.
Ms Muchuchuti dismissed the application and removed Maodza from remand.
Maodza is accused of extorting money from Mr Levy, the director of Sam Levy’s Village, in return for not publishing a news article exposing him as a supporter and treasurer of the People First project allegedly led by former Vice President Joice Mujuru.
He is represented by Mr Phelex Charamba of Charamba and Partners.
Mr Levy denied that he holds any post in People First.
The State alleges that Maodza was offered $700, but refused to take it in Mr Levy’s office and suggested that he be given the money outside.
The State alleges that the conversation was recorded by a closed-circuit television (CCTV) in Mr Levy’s office. Maodza was arrested after detectives intercepted him before he was given the money.
- The Herald