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Zimbabwe to Free Alleged South African Mercenaries

Zimbabwe authorities are expected to release 60 alleged mercenaries accused of planning a coup in Equatorial Guinea.

State media says the men, all South African citizens, will be handed over to immigration officials today (Wednesday) and deported back to their home country.

The men were arrested 14 months ago when their chartered plane landed for a stopover at Harare international airport.

They were jailed on relatively minor immigration offenses after prosecutors failed to prove weapons and coup conspiracy charges.

During their lengthy court case last year, the men denied planning to overthrow the government in Equatorial Guinea. They said they were traveling to the Democratic Republic of Congo for security work at a mine.

The alleged leader of the group, Simon Mann, will remain in prison to serve out a longer term.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.