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Zimbabwe's MDC Says Party Activists Pressed To Testify In Coup Plot Case

The formation of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Thursday that three party activists in Banket, Mashonaland West province, were detained this week by state agents and pressured to become state witnesses.

MDC sources said Terry Musona, Lloyd Tarumbwa and Fani Tembo were forcibly taken from their homes on Tuesday by law enforcement or state security officers.

The three were among the scores of MDC and human rights activists arrested late last year and eventually charged with plotting to unseat President Robert Mugabe. Most prominent among such prisoners was Zimbabwe Peace Project Director Jestina Mukoko, who was abducted from her home in Norton and turned up in police hands a month later.

MDC sources said the three were taken to the office of the attorney general in Harare where they were ordered to testify against other party activists facing trial next week.

The three were released Wednesday after being warned of serious consequences if they failed to follow the instructions they had been given, the MDC said.

Reached for comment, Attorney General Johannes Tomana declined to comment, saying the matter was before the courts.

Lawyer Chris Mhike, representing the three MDC activists, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that an urgent application has been filed in Harare High Court asking the bench to prevent the state from calling them as witnesses.

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