Zimbabwe Frees Cabinet Nom From Prison

Opposition figure was jailed despite power-sharing deal
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2009 8:14 AM CDT
Roy Bennett talks to media after his release from prison in Mutare, Zimbabwe, Thursday, March 12, 2009.   (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
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(Newser) – A Zimbabwean cabinet nominee from Morgan Tsvangirai's party was released from custody today, a day after the country's supreme court ordered his release on bail. Roy Bennett, Tsvangirai's nominee for agriculture secretary in the new unity government, was arrested last month and charged with plotting terrorism, sabotage, and other crimes. Bennett derided Zimbabwe to the BBC as "a nation where the rule of law means nothing."

"I could be re-arrested at any time, there could be attempts on my life," said Bennett, a former coffee farmer who has been arrested and exiled before. He described the conditions in prison as "pathetic," saying that authorities waited days before removing dead bodies from the cells. The country's chief justice, seen as an ally of Robert Mugabe, demanded that Bennett surrender his passport and the deeds to his house as bail conditions.