Zimbabwe court grants bail to opposition official

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The Independent Online

A Zimbabwean court today released opposition MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti on bail after two weeks in jail, a party spokesman said.

Biti has been jailed since he flew back to Zimbabwe from South Africa on 12 June. The secretary-general of Movement for Democratic Change has been charged with treason, which carries the death penalty. He also has been charged with publishing false statements and insulting the president, plus another charge related to interfering with the military.

Movement for Democratic Change spokesman Nelson Chamisa released a brief statement saying a judge had granted Biti bail today. Further details were not immediately available.

Party leader Morgan Tsvangirai called yesterday for talks on forming a transitional authority but he said Biti would have to be released before negotiations could begin.