Tsvangirai ally to be tried Oct. 13 for terrorism

HARARE Wed Jul 1, 2009 7:56pm IST

Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) national treasurer Roy Bennet gestures as he leaves Mutare remand prison in Mutare in this March 12, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/Files

Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) national treasurer Roy Bennet gestures as he leaves Mutare remand prison in Mutare in this March 12, 2009 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo/Files

Related Topics

HARARE (Reuters) - A senior official in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party will stand trial in Zimbabwe in October on terrorism charges, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

The case against Roy Bennett has deepened divisions in the fragile unity government formed in February between President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change to end a long-running political crisis and a decade of economic ruin.

Bennett, the MDC's treasurer-general, has been nominated as deputy agriculture minister and is among only a few remaining white founder members of the party.

The former coffee farmer was arrested in February, accused of plotting against the Mugabe government. He will go on trial in the eastern city of Mutare, charged with illegal possession of arms for purposes of terrorism and banditry.

He denies the charges but faces life in jail if convicted.

"They (prosecutors) have set 13 October as the trial date but they also relaxed his bail conditions. He will report to the police twice a month instead of once every week," Bennett's lawyer Trust Maanda said.

Tsvangirai has previously said Bennett will be sworn in as junior minister next month when five MDC officials are scheduled to take their positions as provincial governors as part of the political agreement between MDC and ZANU-PF.

FILED UNDER:

Sony Cyber Attack

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ten Years On

Ten Years On

10 years on, tsunami warning stumbles at the "last mile".  Full Article 

Exit Polls

Exit Polls

BJP unlikely to form Jammu & Kashmir govt - polls.  Full Article 

Forceful Conversions

Forceful Conversions

BJP distances itself from religious conversions.  Full Article 

Hopeful Dhoni

Hopeful Dhoni

India's new vintage nearly ready, says Dhoni.  Full Article 

Photo

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Ali Hospitalized

Ali Hospitalized

Boxing great Muhammad Ali hospitalized with pneumonia.  Full Article 

Going International

Going International

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV.  Full Article 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage