Zimbabwe protest pastor released


A Zimbabwean court freed activist pastor Evan Mawarire, a critic of President Robert Mugabe, following his weekend arrest on new charges of attempting to subvert government.

It was the second time he was detained for a similar offence.

Mawarire went on trial on Monday on separate subversion charges stemming from protests last year against Mugabe’s handling of the economy.

The magistrate’s court said the rights of Mawarire, who appeared in khaki prison uniform, were violated after police failed to bring him to court within 48 hours following his arrest on Sunday morning, as stipulated by the law.

Mawarire earlier attended trial at the High Court but the judge postponed the case to Thursday.

The 40-year-old pastor faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison if convicted and even if acquitted could be on trial again.

He is due to face yet another trial at a later date on charges of promoting violence after he addressed protesting university students in June.