A Zambian judge has dropped all charges against two politicians detained for a year without trial after being accused of treason in a failed coup last year against President Frederick Chiluba, news organisations reported on Tuesday.
Dean Mung’omba, of the opposition Zambia Democratic Congress (ZDC) and Princess Nakatindi Wina were released on bail last week after Judge Japhet Banda ruled that more than 100 state witnesses had been unable to furnish evidence linking them to the failed coup.
The decision on Monday to drop charges against the two politicians drew praise from the Lusaka daily, ‘The Post’ which said it suspected the two had been detained at President Chiluba’s insistence.
The newspaper praised Judge Banda for his “courageous” decision and called him “an endangered species” of whom “there are very few on the Zambian bench today”.
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