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[Published: Friday March 06 2009]

Zimbabwe judge held over MDC bail

Harare, 06 March-(ANA)-Police in Zimbabwe have arrested a magistrate who allowed MDC ministerial nominee Roy Bennett to deposit bail.

Other magistrates in the eastern town of Mutare have gone on strike in solidarity with Livingstone Chipadze, court officials say.

"It is frightening if a magistrate is arrested because he has passed a judgment that is not popular with the state," Mr Bennett's lawyer said.

Mr Bennett was arrested on the day MDC ministers joined a unity government.

He is accused of links to an alleged plot to topple President Robert Mugabe.

But the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the arrest is a plot to destabilise the power-sharing administration.

Long-time rivals President Robert Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai last week formed a unity government after months of wrangling.

They pledged to make reviving the economy a top priority, but analysts say Mr Bennett's arrest is causing serious difficulties for the fledgling administration.(ANA)

FA/ANA/06 March 2009---


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