Home Crime & Courts Sikhala judgement date set as video expert cleans jailed CCC politician

Sikhala judgement date set as video expert cleans jailed CCC politician

by commuadmin

HARARE – Harare magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa has set April 28 for judgment in a case where jailed opposition legislator Job Sikhala is accused of defeating the course of justice.

Prosecutors base their evidence on a social media video in which the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) politician allegedly threatens revenge for slain party legislator Moreblessing Ali by suspected Zanu PF activists in May last year.

Prosecutors say the veteran opposition lawmaker disturbed investigations that had been instituted by police on the same crime.

The defence Monday closed its case after calling an international video editing and filmmaking expert who told the court the video relied upon by the State was tampered with.

Olaf Koschke, a lecturer at UNESCO Television Centre in the United States, said even before analysing the video, the fact that it had a watermark showed it was not original.

He also said in the absence of those who allegedly shot the video, the court could not rely on what is currently before it.

Koschke started editing in the 1980s and was a TV editor and lecturer at EBTV and Feedback Films in Berlin, Germany.

“Can you say this is the original video?” Harrison Nkomo, representing the lawmaker, asked while leading the expert.

Koschke replied, “This video has a watermark. So, that means it went through a computer before it was played.”

The expert said the watermark was a confirmation of editing and lack of originality.

Kosche went on to play another video he had reproduced from the same video being used as evidence by the State.

He had changed the wording of the speech in the video and replaced it with his own to confirm anyone who has had access could have played around with it. Kosche said every video that is uploaded on different platforms is edited.

“This video is edited. It’s a combination of pictures and sound and watermark and we don’t know if they were there when it was filmed.

“You cannot rely on videos that you download on YouTube. You need to rely on witnesses who were there at the time that it was filmed,” Koschke said.

He also played a fake video of President Emmerson Mnangagwa endorsing CCC president Nelson Chamisa.

Oscar Madume, on behalf of the State, also asked Koschke if he was “100% sure” that the video had been edited – Kukurigo

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