Harare - Zimbabwe's high court on Monday released a
prominent human rights lawyer on $500 bail, after more than a week in prison in
a case that has renewed criticism of President Robert Mugabe's security forces.
High Court Judge Joseph Musakwa set aside an earlier
decision by a magistrate to deny Beatrice Mtetwa bail.
"I am satisfied with the application by the appellant
and I set aside the ruling of the [lower] court," Musakwa said.
Mtetwa was arrested last week together with four aides of
Mugabe rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Mtetwa was accused of shouting
at and taking pictures of police officers who were conducting a search at the
home of one of the aides.
The arrests came a day after Zimbabweans voted
overwhelmingly for a new constitution that would curb presidential powers and
pave the way for elections later this year.
But Tsvangirai and civic rights groups fear Mugabe and his Zanu-PF
party are already undermining the chances of a free and fair election.
The bail hearing for the four Tsvangirai aides is expected