State bids to keep Zim’s Bennett behind bars

bennet_roy.jpgHarare - A judge in Zimbabwe on Tuesday dismissed an application by the state to deny bail to a would-be junior minister, but prosecutors said they will apply to the Supreme Court to keep him behind bars.

State prosecutor Chris Mutangadura said the state will challenge the
Harare High Court’s decision to throw out its application to appeal an
order given last week to grant Roy Bennett bail. Bennett, the treasurer
of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),is Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s pick for deputy agriculture minister in the new unity
government, but has yet to be sworn in. "In terms of the law, nothing
has changed," said Mutangadura after the ruling. "Although the judge
has dismissed our application for leave to appeal on the grounds that
our chances of success are slim … we will be filing to the Supreme
Court against that decision." Bennett was arrested as Tsvangirai was
being sworn in on February 13, and was charged last week with
possession of arms for banditry, insurgency and terrorism. "The judge
has dismissed the application for leave to appeal but nothing has
changed as the state has indicated that it wants to go to the Supreme
Court," Bennett’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa told reporters. His case has
raised doubts about the durability of Zimbabwe’s unity government,
which was formed this month after nearly a year of turmoil stemming
from disputed elections last March.


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