Harare - A
Zimbabwe court on Tuesday dropped charges against a leading human rights lawyer
who had faced trial for obstructing police, after state prosecutors failed to
present evidence to support their case.
Mtetwa, who has won international awards for her defence of journalists and
opposition politicians, was arrested in March after police officers said she
called them President Robert Mugabe's "dogs" and took photographs of
them during a search at the home of her client, a member of the opposition.
arrested a day after Zimbabweans voted to adopt a new constitution that reduced
presidential powers. She had argued that she was being persecuted for
representing those who have spoken out against 89-year-old Mugabe, who has
ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.
had been out on bail, had asked the Harare Magistrate's Court to dismiss the
is no evidence that the accused disturbed the police, she is therefore
discharged," Magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa ruled on Tuesday.
overwhelmingly won a 31 July election extending his 33-year rule. His main
rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, denounced the poll as a "huge fraud", but
African observers broadly endorsed the vote as free and orderly.