Judge orders police to give Tendai Biti’s location

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A judge in Zimbabwe on Friday ordered police to bring the arrested MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti to court after they failed to reveal his whereabouts since his arrest for treason.

High Court Judge Ben Hlatshwayo also wanted the police to justify the arrest of Biti.

Biti was arrested on Thursday within minutes of flying back from South Africa and then whisked away in a waiting car by plainclothes police.

“We have just got an order that police produce him before the high court tomorrow at 10:00,” Biti’s lawyer Lewis Uriri said.

Uriri say they have gone around all police stations in Harare, but has so far failed to locate him.

Although police have not detailed the accusations against Biti, they have said he faces a charge of treason and another charge in connection with his pre-emptive announcement of results after a first round of elections in March.

Biti had returned home on Thursday after a long period abroad to take part in campaigning for a June 27 run-off election when MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai hopes to topple Robert Mugabe.

Biti, 41 was last seen on Thursday by fellow passengers disembarking from a flight from Johannesburg.

They saw him being led away in handcuffs by 10 men in suits before he had even reached the immigration area of Harare airport.

Police have said Biti will be charged with treason, a crime which carries
the death penalty.

It is understood that Biti was taken first to Matapi police station, then
to Harare Central and is currently being held at the notorious Goromonzi
torture centre, about 20 miles south-east of the capital.

The basement torture chamber is located in a small farming village of the
same name and is run by the feared Central Intelligence Organisation.

It is known as the “swimming pool” because of its wet floor, a feature designed to increase the impact of electric shocks.

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