Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Monday, 16 November 2009

Zimbabwe MDC aide denies charges

Roy Bennett (file image)
The MDC says Roy Bennett's trial is politically motivated

A senior aide to Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism.

Roy Bennett, treasurer for Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was held in February for allegedly possessing illegal weapons.

Attorney General Johannes Tomana told the court Mr Bennett was involved in a bid to topple President Robert Mugabe's government between 2002 and 2006.

The trial has raised tensions in Zimbabwe's unity government.

In court, Mr Bennett's lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa described the case as political persecution.

Mr Bennett had been due to be sworn in as deputy agriculture minister when he was arrested.

President Robert Mugabe has refused to swear him in while the case is ongoing.

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