Zimbabwe puts judge on trial

Fergie Blackie, the retired judge arrested in Zimbabwe last year for allegedly attempting to defeat the course of justice, is facing trial at the end of this month.

Blackie’s trial is set down for 30 June in the Harare Magistrates’ Court, and the state is likely to call three other judges as witnesses.

The UN has already condemned the Mugabe regime for stating it would call judges as witnesses in the similar case of Mr Justice Paradza, a Zimbabwean judge arrested for allegedly breaching the Prevention of Corruption Act last January.

“We maintain that there is very little substance to these charges and that the trial has been brought as an attempt to embarrass Justice Blackie,” said Blackie’s advocate Firoz Girach.

The International Bar Association has expressed outrage at the Zimbabwean practice of arresting judges, which it sees as an attempt by Mugabe to destroy the independence of the judiciary.