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At Least Five Charged in Alleged Zimbabwe Coup Plot

At least five men including a former Zimbabwe army officer have been charged with treason for allegedly plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe.

Court documents released to the media Saturday accuse the men of plotting to use the military to remove the president from office and replace him with Minister of Rural Housing and Amenities Emerson Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa, who was not among those charged, is quoted by the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper as saying that any allegations of his involvement in a coup plot are just "stupid."

A lawyer for the accused men, Jonathan Samkange, says his clients have pleaded not guilty to the charges. He says they were arrested while meeting to form a new political party.

The punishment for treason in Zimbabwe is death.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.