Zambia: Treason trial of opposition leader postponed
A judge adjourned treason trial of Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema to Wednesday.
The Judge, Betty Malupenga, adjourned the case on Monday after the magistrate overseeing the case fell ill.
Hichilema appeared in a Lusaka court along with five other opposition politicians accused of trying to overthrow President Edgar Lungu.
His lawyers told the court that they were unhappy with the delay, which will see their client remain in custody.
Treason suspects cannot be released on bail in Zambia.
The maximum penalty for treason is death.
The defence has also questioned the constitutionality of the case against the opposition leader.
Hichilema was charged with treason last month after his motorcade allegedly blocked Lungu’s convoy on a road.
He was arrested in a police raid on his home and charged with endangering Lungu’s life.
Charges related to insulting the sitting president have since been dropped.
Hichilema has filed a legal challenge against the results of the August 2016 elections, which he lost to Lungu, arguing that they were fraudulent.
The opposition accuses the ruling party of trying to silence dissent, a sentiment which is echoed by some rights groups.