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World Briefing / Zimbabwe

Treason charges are reduced

February 16, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Zimbabwean police no longer plan treason charges against a longtime opposition politician appointed to the unity government, the lawmaker's party said.

The Movement for Democratic Change party reported earlier that police said Roy Bennett, the party's nominee to be deputy agriculture minister, would be accused of treason, which carries the death penalty. The party said police decided on a weapons charge instead.

Police have been unavailable for comment since Bennett's arrest Friday.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the party's leader and Zimbabwe's new prime minister, called Bennett's arrest an attempt by factions in President Robert Mugabe's party to derail the country's unity government.

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