Zimbabwe appeals treason acquittal of top PM aide

Published July 29, 2010

HARARE, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwean lawyers say the nation's highest court is appealing the acquittal on treason charges of a top aide of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The Supreme Court adjourned indefinitely Wednesday to study bulky court records of the High Court trial that in May acquitted Roy Bennett. Bennett, who was designated deputy agriculture minister, was charged with plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe.

The case against Bennett strained Zimbabwe's struggling coalition government since it was forged 18 months ago. Mugabe vowed not to swear in Bennett as a minister until he was cleared of charges carrying a possible death sentence.

Defense attorney Beatrice Mtetwa described the state appeal as continuing "political persecution" of Bennett.

Written by Associated Press

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