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Legal Obstacle Course As Zimbabwe Lawyers Seek To Free Roy Bennett

Lawyers representing imprisoned Zimbabwean opposition figure Roy Bennett said Wednesday that he could be freed from a Mutare remand prison by the end of the day following a high court ruling Tuesday against state prosecutors opposing the extension of bail.

Bennett's lawyers said bail of US$2,000.00 was posted for Bennett, treasurer of the Movement for Democratic Change formation headed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who has designated Bennett his deputy minister of agriculture. They said Bennett's passport was surrendered as required by the high court in the appeals hearing on Tuesday.

The lawyers said the bail process went ahead despite reports that the Office of the Attorney General intended to appeal the high court ruling to try to keep him in prison.

Justice Tedias Karwi found that there was no merit in the state’s appeal of another high court decision last week saying Bennett deserved to be released on bail.

Bennett defender Trust Maanda told Jonga Kandemiiri that he and other lawyers were still at Mutare Remand Prison trying to extract Bennett but were facing difficulties because a senior Manicaland province police official had disappeared with Bennett's release papers.

Bennett is expected to appear again in court on March 18.

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