THE trial of officer-in-charge CID Gweru, Detective Inspector Leonard Gwandu, who is facing allegations of releasing a stolen vehicle held as an exhibit yesterday kicked off with accused denying the charges.
Through his lawyer, Nomore Hlabano, Gwandu, who appeared before Gweru regional magistrate Pathekile Msipa, argued that when the purported owner of the vehicle was acquitted, the court was silent on how the car should be disposed of.
He said there was no laid down police procedure he contradicted when he released the vehicle and challenged the State to prove the existence of such a procedure.
After two State witnesses testified, Msipa postponed the matter to February 27 when the last witness is expected to give evidence.
The State alleges that on December 14 last year Gwandu released a Toyota Hilux, valued at US$27 000, which was confiscated from Kwekwe businessman Shepherd Tundiya after it was allegedly discovered that it had been stolen from South Africa.
Allegations are that Tundiya, who had been arrested on October 16 last year in connection with the motor vehicle, was acquitted at the Gweru Magistrates Court on December 13.
The following day Gwandu allegedly released the stolen vehicle to Tundiya without following due procedure.
The State further alleges that the car was stolen in South Africa from one Thomas Blom of CMH Toyota and was being investigated by Alberton police station in South Africa under case number 233/11/2017.
The State said the vehicle was supposed to be handed to South African police following due process but the accused handed it to Tundiya.