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Zimbabwe Opposition Activists Bound Over In Bombing Case To June 29; Appeal Pends

A Harare magistrate Friday dismissed a request by some 20 activists of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change for their release from remand prison, instead binding them over until June 29 on firebomb conspiracy charges.

Lawyers for the opposition members, many held since a raid on the party's Harare headquarters March 28, had asked the court to refuse remand to the prosecution on grounds that no trial date has been set. The case is headed Tuesday for high court, where a judge last week declined to rule until a magistrate disposed of the case.

The activists remaining in police hands face an assortment of charges including sabotage and alleged paramilitary training in South Africa. State prosecutors say the accused were behind a series of firebombings of police posts in March.

Alec Muchadehama, a lawyer for the accused, told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he was disappointed in the ruling because the state has failed to show sufficient evidence to warrant their continued detention.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...