Murder Trial Halted As Suspect Becomes Deaf

Kevin Pato, a murder suspect has completely lost his sense of hearing in remand prison thereby complicating his chances of trial. The disability has been medically ascertained, bringing his murder trial to a halt.

The accused however can still speak, read and write. This does less to help the situation as egal experts said communication through writing notes was not possible in a court of law.

It is alleged that Pato committed murder in the course of a robbery, an offence that attracts the death penalty if he is found guilty.

National Director of Public Prosecution Mr. Nelson Mutsonziwa said that the State will find a way to ensure trial commences since the accused is facing serious charges. Speaking to the Herald, Mutsonziwa said:

The accused should be trained in using sign language to ensure trial commences.

He stands accused of a very serious offence and we cannot decline prosecution in the public interest.

If it was some petty offences, one would have considered setting him free but the offence he faces attracts the death penalty.

The only way forward is to train him to use sign language.

Pato confirmed his latest condition to The Herald at Chikurubi Maximum Prison. He also said that he would want to be released at least on bail. Prison officers, however, said they do not have issues having him there.

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