[JURIST] Eight people have been charged in Zimbabwe with plotting the assassination of President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile] following the arrests of 15 suspects [JURIST report] on Friday. Several members of the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) [party website] were among those charged, including MP Giles Mutsekwa, although the MDC itself has denied any knowledge or involvement. In a Saturday hearing before a magistrate, defense lawyers alleged that four of the detainees were taken to a military camp where they were beaten and tortured by secret service agents [ZWNews report] attempting to force a confession. The magistrate declined to investigate the allegations, although the Zimbabwe secret service has routinely been accused of torture [BBC report] by opposition members and human rights groups.
Police believe those charged are allied with the Zimbabwe Freedom Movement [manifesto], a clandestine group seeking Mugabe's removal. BBC News has more.