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Zambia opposition leader charged for treason, pleads ‘not guilty’

…..Journalists barred from filming covering proceedings
The treason trial of Zambia’s main opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, and five others started on Monday at a High Court in the capital, Lusaka. He pleaded not guilty and was remanded in prison custody ahead of the next hearing.

The opposition chief, Hichilema, pleaded “not guilty” to the treason charges and the trial was adjourned for Wednesday August 16.

The United Party for National Development (UPND) leader and five others were arrested in April and hurled before a Magistrate court on three charges, treason, disobeying lawful orders and using insulting language.

The 55-year-old has been in prison custody for 126 days. The party urged its supporters attending the hearing to be peaceful and decorous.

Agency report said that the court placed blanket ban on foreign media from covering the proceedings.

Hichilema’s opposition party said accreditation for AFP, Reuters, BBC and Bloomberg were withdrawn and there was no official communication on the withdrawal.

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