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Detained Ugandan Opposition Leader Fails to Appear for Bail Hearing


Detained Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye has failed to appear for a bail hearing, although 14 of his 22 co-defendants also facing treason charges were granted bail.

However, officials from Mr. Besigye's political party say the 14 refused to leave the High Court for fear they would be re-arrested by security forces on the premises. The 14 were later returned to prison.

Mr. Besigye and 22 others were arrested Monday, accused of planning to topple the government.

The opposition leader made a lower court appearance Tuesday. Outside the courtroom, one person was killed and dozens arrested when police dispersed angry opposition supporters.

Mr. Besigye returned to Uganda last month after four years in exile. He lost the 2001 presidential election to incumbent Yoweri Museveni, and was expected to be the president's toughest challenger in next year's election.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP, Reuters.

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