Witness tortured in Bennett weapons trial: lawyer

HARARE – Prosecutors want to prevent a top aide to Zimbabwe's prime minister from arguing that evidence against him in a weapons trial was obtained through torture.

Roy Bennett’s trial, which has strained Zimbabwe’s coalition government, opened Monday with the attorney general asking the judge to bar a defense argument.

Bennett’s lawyers say the weapons dealer who is the main prosecution witness was not only tortured, but did not implicate Bennett during his own trial.

The weapons dealer was arrested in 2006 and initially accused of plotting to assassinate longtime President Robert Mugabe. Bennett had not been linked to the case until his arrest in February.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says "the malicious prosecution" of Bennett must stop.