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Reporting teams from various media outlets were banned this morning from covering the trial hearings of Nini Satar and two other defendants accused of forging documents.
The beginning of the session was scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday at the Maximum Security Penitentiary commonly known as “B.O.” ( located in Machava, outskirts of Maputo), but, upon arrival, the press was informed that they were not allowed access to the interior of the establishment.
Previously, reporters had been allowed to enter provided that they didn’t take photographs or videos, but this time, once inside the prison, an official from the National Penitentiary Service (SERNAP) made the surprise announcement that a special pass would be required, and told journalists to leave.
Contacted by the press, SERNAP said that access to the hearing had to be authorised by the judge. It is not yet clear whether the trial has begun, but, less than 20 minutes later, Satar’s lawyer Flávio Menete, a member of the Bar Association, arrived on the scene.
Also present this morning was Alice Mabote, defence lawyer for Sidalia dos Santos, the National Migration Service official who allegedly arranged access to forged passports for Nini and Sahim Aslam.
Nini’s defence says it has not requested a ban on news coverage
Speaking when he arrived at the penitentiary, Damião Cumbana, a member of Nini Satar’s defence team, said that his side had not requested that journalists be barred from the hearing.
“There was no request from us that the press should not have access to the trial. This has nothing to do with lawyers,” Cumbana said. For him, it was just “another case – I’m not losing any sleep over it”.
With extensive experience in criminal defence, Damião Cumbana and Flávio Menete are working to circumvent or at least reduce to the maximum possible extent any sanction that might be applied to Momade Abdul (Nini) Satar in this case.
By Antonio TiuaSource: O País
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