ZIMBABWE

MDC official Bennett released on bail, trial to begin next week

Roy Bennett (pictured), an MDC party official who is facing terrorism charges, was released on bail Friday pending trial. Party leader Morgan Tsvangirai earlier said he would boycott the unity government formed with President Robert Mugabe.

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Roy Bennett, a senior official from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party who is facing terrorism charges, was released on bail late Friday after being detained earlier this week. Speaking to journalists after his release, Bennett said his trial will begin next week.

"I am informed that my trial will start on Monday," Bennett told Reuters.

Bennett's release comes just hours after MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he would boycott the unity government formed with President Robert Mugabe earlier this year after months of negotiations.

Bennett was Tsvangirai's choice to serve as deputy agriculture minister but was arrested an hour before Mugabe swore in his new government in February.

The MDC says the charges against him have been trumped up for political purposes.

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