Zim activists to hear outcome of medical appeal

A Zimbabwean judge will rule on Thursday whether seven opposition activists, detained in recent weeks,...

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A Zimbabwean judge will rule on Thursday whether seven opposition activists, detained in recent weeks, should be medically examined for signs of having been tortured.

The seven members of the Movement for Democratic Change were formally charged on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to a bombing plot.

Their lawyers produced doctors who testified that the activists had been beaten while in detention.

The seven were charged with terrorism, banditry and insurgency, charges that their lawyers called ridiculous and scandalous.

They were among dozens of opposition activists jailed in recent weeks by a regime bent on declaring a state of emergency.

Others were expected to be charged with sending people for military training in <?xml:namespace prefix="st1" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"?><country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Botswana</country-region>.

Regional leaders including President Kgalema Motlanthe described the allegations as baseless.