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1 May 2017 02:37 (South Africa)

Bennett witness can testify despite alleged evidence under torture

Zimbabwe's High Court says a former arms dealer can appear as a prosecution witness in the trial of Roy Bennett, but the judge is allowing the defence to allege that Peter Hitschmann was tortured into giving evidence. Bennett is on trial for his life on charges of terrorism, insurgency, sabotage and banditry. How the former white farmer, who was due to be sworn in as deputy agriculture minister, managed all that is anybody’s guess. He spent two years in exile in South Africa after being accused of plotting to kill Robert Mugabe. The ruling comes as ministers from Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change attended their first cabinet meeting since they ended a boycott of the unity government, partly over Bennett’s arrest. Hitschmann was cleared of the same charges Bennett is facing, but had not previously been linked to the case, making his testimony a fabrication, the BBC says. Read more: BBC, Namibian-AFP

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