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Trial Date Set For Zimbabwe Opposition Members - 2002-08-02


A court in Zimbabwe has set a date for the trial of three opposition members on charges of plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

The judge (Dominic Musawazi) said today (Friday) opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and two other party members (Welshman Ncube and Renson Gasela) will stand trial in Zimbabwe's High Court on November 11th.

The charges stem from a videotape of a secret meeting attended by the defendants, in which Mr. Tsvangirai allegedly discusses killing President Robert Mugabe.

The defendants deny the charges, saying the tape was heavily edited and misrepresents the actual conversation.

Their lawyer says the case is politically motivated.

Mr. Tsvangirai is the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. He lost March elections against Mr. Mugabe that were widely condemned as fraudulent.

The European Union responded by slapping sanctions on Mr. Mugabe's government. And the Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe's membership for one year.

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