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Trial to Test Zimbabwe's Media Law

June 12, 2002|Reuters

HARARE, Zimbabwe — A U.S. journalist accused of publishing a false story was scheduled to go on trial today in a test of Zimbabwe's tough new media law.

Andrew Meldrum, the Zimbabwe correspondent for Britain's Guardian newspaper, would be the first to go on trial on charges of publishing falsehoods, a crime that carries a heavy fine or a two-year jail term.

Meldrum, 50, from Hudson, Ohio, is charged over a story alleging that supporters of President Robert Mugabe beheaded a female opposition activist in a rural district while her two young children watched.

The story was published by Zimbabwe's privately owned Daily News, which later said that the story was false and apologized.

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