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Zimbabwe drops charges against alleged Mugabe assassination plotters

[JURIST] Zimbabwe prosecutors have dropped charges against six men accused of a plot to assassinate President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile], according to lawyers involved in the case speaking Wednesday. Media reports originally indicated that eight men had been charged, but police said Wednesday the number was only seven, and that only one, a policeman and former Rhodesian soldier, remained in custody on a lesser charge. The six, all members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) [official website], were among a group arrested last week [JURIST report] after an arms cache was discovered at a house in Mutare which allegedly had ties to an organization called the Zimbabwe Freedom Movement (ZFM) [manifesto], a clandestine UK-based group which seeks the immediate and forceful overthrow of Mugabe's government. The MDC has repeatedly denied it has ties to ZFM and other insurgency efforts.

Political analysts viewed the plot allegations as a government attempt to silence growing discontent with Mugabe's regime. Reuters has more.

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