Zim drops charges against BBC journalist

2012-05-28 22:03

Harare - BBC radio presenter Petroc Trelawny, being treated in a Zimbabwe hospital for a fractured arm, will not be prosecuted and is free to fly home, his lawyer told Reuters on Monday.

Zimbabwean state lawyers decided not to prosecute Trelawny, who was detained on Thursday at an arts festival in Bulawayo and charged with working without a permit. He had fallen and injured his arm while in police custody, his lawyer said.

"Yes, I'm happy to say the prosecution has declined to prosecute him. Effectively he's a free man," defence lawyer Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga told Reuters from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city.

No reason was given for dropping the charges, he said.

BBC reporters were banned from Zimbabwe in 2001, when President Robert Mugabe's government accused the broadcaster of reporting lies. But the ban was lifted in 2009 after Mugabe's Zanu8-PF lost its majority in parliament and he was forced into a power-sharing deal with Morgan Tsvangirai.

Zimbabwe's media laws require journalists to be accredited by a state-appointed commission. Police regularly arrest and deport foreign journalists for working in the southern African country without clearance.

  • Pulverturm - 2012-05-28 23:35

    Yeah right... he fell!

  • Jack - 2012-05-29 04:37

    let me guess - he slipped in the bath...whatever!

  • Vince.York - 2012-05-29 06:33

    AND the ANC here in South Africa has just made the Goodman Gallery fall and break it's back, as well as the "City Press" in exactly the same manner as this gentle Zim persuasion was done. SA is officially a DICTATORSHIP as is Zim today.

  • ian.levinson.7 - 2012-05-29 07:14

    BBC radio presenter Petroc Trelawny, being treated in a Zimbabwe hospital Dont think thats a wise idea either, is there anything that isnt wrecked on this continent, viva private health care viva

  • - 2012-05-29 07:16

    If you believe that, you'll believe anything. Strong arm tactics lead to broken arm. I hope he tells the full story when he's safely away from there.

  • Lynton - 2012-05-29 08:31

    Zanu ate PF? OMG...there goes the diet.

  • Thami - 2012-05-29 08:57

    One thing people must know is that Zimbabwe cannot be intimidated. The Journo did not have a permit and was arrested. So what is the noise all about? Full credit to the police for carrying out their duties without fear. As for the broken arm, he probably tried to resist arrest which is a very bad idea with cops worth their salt anywhere in the world. Well done for keeping law and order. Anyone who thinks otherwise can go to hell

      Sydney - 2012-05-30 12:27

      You seem to be the only idiot desperately trying to give Zimbabwe a good name. Give up chum, nobody believes you. My company works in Zim regularly, with work permits, and our people are still harassed by your "cops without fear". Nothing but crooks, your police! Why don't you get of your high horse and realise that your country is being fed to the pigs by Mad Bob? Or are you a revolutionary, brainwashed to the point where you know only one verse of the song?

  • ntemi.mark - 2012-05-29 08:57

    prat!government they had nothing against him,thats the only thing they very good at,arresting everyone@then brainwash his own ppl into believing west is bad,intead of talking about what he can do 4his pple,creep!

  • UncleShep - 2012-05-29 14:03

    Now what do you all haters say....the man is not gonna be prosecuted and is free to fly home.

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