Sodomy trial opens

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The Independent Online
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's former president Canaan Banana goes on trial today to face 11 charges of sodomy, attempted sodomy and indecent assault.

The cases against the 62-year-old Methodist clergyman, who served as a largely ceremonial president in the 1980s, were compiled by the state after complaints by one of his former presidential guards.

He was first charged last July but appealed, arguing that pre-trial publicity had prejudiced his right to a fair hearing. The appeal was dismissed in March.

Mr Banana had been under police investigation after allegations that he had raped Jefta Dube, one of his former aides.