, HARARE, Mar 9 – Lawyers for a top aide to Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday told his treason trial he had no case to answer.
"We submit that the facts presented by the state are not sufficient enough to have a conviction against the accused," Beatrice Mtetwa told the Harare High Court.
Roy Bennett, the treasurer of Tsvangirai\’s party, is accused of plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe in 2006 in a conspiracy already dismissed by the courts in an earlier case.
A white former tobacco farmer, Bennett was Tsvangirai\’s pick for deputy agriculture minister in the power-sharing government with Mugabe, formed last year.
Bennett was arrested shortly before he was to be sworn in minister and Mugabe has said he must be cleared by the court before taking up the post. "The entire state case is based on fiction…there is absolutely nothing which the accused is expected to respond to at this stage," Mtetwa said.
Last month the court struck out evidence from the main witness in the trial after a judge accepted he had been tortured into testifying.
The case continues on Wednesday.