A FORENSIC expert Cain Nhemachena yesterday revealed how he managed to link alleged defamatory Facebook messages by a former employee who insulted prominent businessman Raj Modi.
Nhemachena testified in a case where Million Mukiri (30) appeared before Bulawayo Regional Court magistrate Crispen Mberewere charged with creating a Facebook page that accused Modi of practicing slavery.
Mukiri denied the charges and the State called Nhemachena to testify on printout messages and details of an Apple iPhone and ownership details of the phone.
Nhemachena said they tested several devices, among them the Apple iPhone and evidence linked Mukiri to the origination of the Facebook posts.
“We found traces of some of the reports on that particular iPhone and even some of the messages which were deleted were found in the slack space,” he said.
Nhemachena said the slack space leaves traces of the messages which were deleted from the phone.
Nhemachena said Facebook traces made established that some posts were made on September 21 2013.
He claimed the messages were created and modified on Facebook on September 20 before being posted using the iPhone owned by Mukiri.
“We detected key words in the personal dictionary on the iPhone. These words were consistently appearing as signature phrases on the majority of Facebook posts,” he said.
“The signature phrases are a luta continua, Tisu Nyuchidzinoruma, Ilifa lethu/Nhaka Yedu.
“When you look on Facebook you will find that the majority of posts had one of these phrases at the end of each post.”
When the Sate asked what made him link the Facebook posts to Mukiri, Nhemachena said he extracted information from the device such as the model number of the phone, serial number and the technical model name of the device.
He said the network service provider can inform release information linking the subscriber to the mobile device they use.
He said Mukiri used his iPhone to post the offending messages and previous messages which were exchanged in 2012 where he used the same phone and number.
He said at some point Econet sent Mukiri a message on the same handset congratulating him on his birthday and this confirmed that he owned and used the iPhone which transmitted the offending messages.
Nhemachena said a printout showed that he was still using the phone even a few days before his arrest despite claims he had lost the handset.
Mukiri is being charged under Section 88 of the Postal and Telecommunications Act that relates to offensive or false telephone messages.
Modi told the court that he set police on his former worker after he got a tip-off from an anonymous caller. The whistle blower informed him about the Facebook page titled Ilifa lethu, nhaka yedu, allegedly created by Mukiri to allegedly expose poor working conditions at Bellevue SPAR.
The page was created in July 2013 and disparaging remarks about the businessman were being posted.
Investigations led to Mukiri’s arrest and police details went to his Tshabalala home where they seized the iPhone, two laptops and three desktop computers.