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Zimbabwe prosecution set back in PM aide case

Last Updated: Monday, January 25, 2010 - 23:00

Harare: The prosecution has been dealt a setback in a trial that has strained Zimbabwe`s coalition government.

A judge ruled Monday that statements made by a key witness are inadmissible at the trial of Roy Bennett, a top aide to Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The judge said that statements made by Peter Michael Hitschmann cannot be used at Bennett`s trial because they were made in connection with the case against Hitschmann.

Hitschmann had testified earlier that state security agents tortured him into implicating Bennett.

The weapons case against Bennett stems from allegations of a plot to topple President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai says the charges are baseless and part of efforts by Mugabe loyalists to undermine the coalition.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, January 25, 2010 - 23:00

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