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Top Filmmaker Koschke says Sikhala Video Edited

"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” - Olaf Koschke

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RENOWNED filmmaker and producer, Olaf Koschke has testified in opposition lawmaker Job Sikhala’s trial saying video evidence produced by the State was manipulated.

The CCC MP is accused of disturbing police investigations by demanding justice for slain opposition activist, Moreblessing Ali.

Koschke who has over 40 years’ experience in video editing was testifying during the defence case which was closed on Monday. Koschke is currently lecturing at UNESCO having previously worked for EBTV and Feedback Films in Berlin.

Led by Sikhala’s lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, the filmmaker said before digging into the video, the fact that it is watermarked shows it was edited.

Nkomo asked him,

“You spoke about making a video with type footage that you would have gotten from the filming crew. Can you say this is the original video?”

He replied,

“This video has a watermark so that means it went through a computer before it was played. It can’t be the original because it has a watermark.”

Koschke further explained,

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“It’s a combination of pictures and sound and watermark and we don’t know if they (State) 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.”

He added it cannot be confirmed if the person in the video was really Sikhala.

“It could be a lookalike. It’s not easy to find someone who resembles the accused but it would be very easy to change the speech.

If I had a Hollywood studio I could easily change it. It’s a bit of work to have the speech synchronised to the figure but it’s possible.”

Defence lawyers produced a video which Koschke had edited from the video tendered by the State. He then explained how he had managed to play around with wording, confirming that a YouTube video can be edited.

“I changed the wording of the speech with other words of the speech and videos I have gotten from the Internet. I replaced the wording ‘kunoku neZanu PF’ with ‘kuno kuChitungwiza’.

“On 5 minutes 30 seconds of the video I replaced ‘kuZanu-pf’ with ‘kuno KuNyatsime.’

“On 5 minutes 37 seconds I replaced ‘killing’ with ‘knowing’. Anyone can download a video if you have a connection. You can upload if you have a YouTube channel. Video can be manipulated.”

Appearing for the State, Oscar Madume during cross examination demanded forensic evidence to confirm that the video had been edited. Koschke added:

“The video on YouTube is 30 frames per second. It could even not be the one that came from the camera because the cameras in Zimbabwe are 25 frames per second. I used Final cap draw on an old Apple laptop.”

Madume asked:

“Are you 100% sure that the video was edited.”

Koschke responded:

“It went through the computer. That’s why there is a watermark. The images were edited because there is a watermark at the bottom.”

The defence then closed its case. Judgement will be handed down on April 28 at 2pm.


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