Vermeulen trial further adjourned

The trial of the former Zimbabwean international Mark Vermeulen has been further adjourned until April 3, 2007.

The defence and state both need to examine the medical reports and outcome of a brain scan on Vermeulen before the trial can commence. Two medical reports carried out by state specialists have already been received by the Harare provincial magistrate William Bhila, but a further brain scan is due at Harare's Parirenyatwa Hospital ahead of the trial.

Vermeulen is accused of setting fire to the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) boardroom at Harare Sports Club on October 30 ,2006. The fire destroyed the air conditioning system, curtains and carpet before it was put out by the Harare Fire Brigade. Vermeulen, 27, is also charged with setting another fire the following day, which destroyed property worth millions of dollars at the ZC Academy at Highlands Country Club in Harare.

The thatched roof and trusses were destroyed, including computers, office accessories and video equipment. Also burnt were the playing kit and equipment of the national squad who were in camp at the academy at that stage while preparing for their end of year tour to Bangladesh.

In the interim, Vermeulen has made a promising return to club cricket turning out for Old Hararians in the local leagues thanks to the relaxed bail conditions afforded to him by the courts.