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Zimbabwe High Court To Rule June 22 on Referring Coup Case to Supreme Court

Zimbabwe High Court Justice Tendai Uchena said Wednesday that he won't issue a ruling until June 22 on a request by lawyers for Movement for Democratic Change activists accused of plotting to overthrow the previous government to refer the case to the Supreme Court.

Lawyers for Concilia Chinanzvavana, Violet Mupfuranhewe, Collen Mutemagau and Fidelis Chiramba of the MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai want to ask the top court to rule their clients cannot be charged because they were abducted and tortured.

The four defendants are among more than 30 MDC and human rights activists arrested late last year and accused of banditry, insurgence and terrorism. Many of them were taken from their homes by persons believed to be agents of the state security apparatus, and eventually handed over to the Zimbabwe Republic Police who brought the charges.

Defense attorney Alec Muchadehama told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that some of the documents requested by the court are currently locked up in the office of another High Court judge who is on circuit court duty.

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