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Chagonda detained

HARARE lawyer Innocent Chagonda was yesterday arrested after he tried to get the police to release the helicopter at the centre of a case involving a South African pilot arrested after he was hired to fly MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai during his party’s election campaign.

Police want to charge Chagonda with “causing disaffection against the police and defence forces” under Section 30 of the Criminal Law (Reform and Codification) Act.

Chagonda was arrested at his offices at Atherstone & Cook in Harare and made to sign a warned and cautioned statement. He was still detained yesterday evening with the police unwilling to release him until the case was brought before the courts.

His lawyer, Chris Mhike, also of Atherstone & Cook, said the police were not indicating when the case would be brought to court and that he feared they would detain Chagonda for an indeterminate period.

“He has been in custody since this morning. There is no indication that they will release him before he goes to court and they are not saying when,” said Mhike.

Mhike said Chagonda had been arrested after he tried to secure the release of the helicopter at the centre of the case of Brent Smythe, a South African pilot who was arrested last month.

Smythe was acquitted by the Magistrates Court last week.

By Kuda Chikwanda

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