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Lawyers for Accused Zimbabwe Activists Divert Case to Supreme Court

The trial of four activists of the formation of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change headed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai failed to begin on schedule Monday in Harare High Court after defense lawyers filed an urgent application with the Supreme Court challenging the arrests of the accused, abducted in late 2008 by apparent security agents.

Concilia Chinanzvavana, Violet Mupfuranhewe, Fidelis Chiramba and Collen Mutemagawu were among dozens of MDC and human rights activists seized late last year and eventually accused of plotting to overthrow the former government of President Robert Mugabe.

Their lawyers have taken issue with the manner in which the accused were seized, often from their homes, charging that they were abducted and tortured before eventually being handed over to the police who then brought the coup-plot charges against them.

Defense attorney Alec Muchadehama told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the state should concentrate on locating his clients' abductors.

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