HARARE: Zimbabwe’s high court said Friday it would rule next week on a bail application by six activists charged with treason for discussing the mass protests in Egypt that toppled president Hosni Mubarak.
"The bail matter is postponed to 16 March to enable the state to file their response," justice Susan Mavangira said at a bail hearing.
"The state has undertaken to file their response to the application by Tuesday, 15 March."
The six, including Munyaradzi Gwisai, a university lecturer and former lawmaker from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, were arrested on February 19 along with members of the audience and some passers-by at a meeting to discuss the mass protests in Egypt.
Forty of those arrested were freed by a magistrate’s court last week for lack of evidence.
Gwisai and the remaining five arrived for their bail application in prison attire with leg-irons which were removed during the court session.
They are charged with treason, which carries the death sentence in Zimbabwe.
The arrests drew international condemnation, including from the UN’s human rights chief and the US State Department, which said President Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, "did not learn the right lessons" from the popular revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.