Archive for Sunday, June 15, 2008

Opposition leader taken to court

June 15, 2008

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— Police brought the Zimbabwe opposition's No. 2 leader to court Saturday in Harare, Zimbabwe, the first time he has been seen in public since plainclothes officers hustled him off a plane as he returned home.

Police have said that Tendai Biti, secretary general of the Movement for Democratic Change, will be charged with treason, which can carry the death penalty.

They had refused to say where he was being held or allow his lawyers to see him since his arrest Thursday, and responded only grudgingly to a High Court judge's order to produce him.

Biti's arrest has added to concerns about a presidential runoff in less than two weeks between Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai and longtime Zimbabwean ruler Robert Mugabe.

Since the March 29 first round of voting, opposition supporters have been brutally attacked, other key opposition figures have been arrested and Tsvangirai's attempts to campaign have been repeatedly interrupted by police.

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