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Journalist Andrew Meldrum - 2002-06-12

Harare-based journalist Andrew Meldrum says he has not violated any law and hopes for a favorable outcome in his court case. Mr. Meldrum is charged with publishing what Zimbabwe’s government calls falsehoods. His trial began Wednesday in Harare.

The American-born journalist says while he is not looking forward to it, he is pleased that the trial has started. He says he considers it the best way to get his name cleared. But Mr. Meldrum expresses concern about the independence of Zimbabwe’s judicial system. He says the integrity of the courts may have been compromised by what he calls tremendous political pressure during the past two years.

Mr. Meldrum says through his case, Zimbabwe’s internationally condemned draconian press law and the independence of Zimbabwe’s courts are on trial. In years past, Andrew Meldrum served as VOA stringer in Zimbabwe. He spoke from Harare with English to Africa reporter Ashenafi Abedje soon after the conclusion of the first day of his trial.