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Zimbabwe court grants bail to U.S. citizen charged with subversion

From Reuters - November 9, 2017

HARARE (Reuters) - A high court judge in Zimbabwe said on Thursday the states case against a U.S. citizen charged with trying to subvert President Robert Mugabes government lacked facts and ordered that she be granted bail.

Martha ODonovan has been in prison since Saturday, a day after she was arrested on accusations of insulting Mugabe in a Twitter post. Police later leveled the more serious charge of subversion, which carries a possible 20-year jail term.

She denies both charges. ODonovan works for Magamba TV, which describes itself as Zimbabwes leading producer of political satire.

In granting her bail, High Court Judge Clement Phiri said there was a patent absence of facts in the states case.

The applicant has demonstrated that she should be granted bail. It is my finding that it is in the interests of justice that the applicant be given bail, Phiri said.

ODonovan was not in court. Phiri ordered her to deposit $1,000 with the court, surrender her passport and report to the criminal investigations department twice a week as part of her bail conditions.

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