African activist granted bail after arrest

March 25, 2013 at 2:21 PM
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HARARE, Zimbabwe, March 25 (UPI) -- A prominent human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe, Beatrice Mtetwa, has been granted bail after her arrest earlier this month, court officials said.

Mtetwa was arrested March 17 after a scuffle with police outside her client's home.

Police raided the home of Thabani Mpofu, an associate of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, confiscating laptops and cellphones. Tsvangirai's chief adviser Alex Magaisa, alerted Mtetwa to the raid, at which point she came to the scene, asking police for a search warrant, Zimbabwe Today reported.

Police did not provide Mtetwa with a search warrant or an inventory of the items they confiscated.

Officers then accused Mtetwa of using her cellphone to take photographs and record conversations between her and police. There was a scuffle when Mtetwa refused to hand over the phone and police arrested her for obstructing the course of justice.

She was granted bail after a lower court denied it, saying she was a flight risk, Zimbabwe Today said Monday. The higher court overruled and released her on $500.

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