Zimbabwe: Court Overruled

Clapping the acquitted in irons

The verdict brought cheers from the packed gallery in Zimbabwe's High Court. Air Force Chief of Staff Hugh Slatter and his five co-defendants and fellow officers, ruled Judge Enoch Dumbutshena, were innocent of charges that they had aided in a devastating sabotage attack on Zimbabwe's air force in 1982. The government's case against the officers, he declared, rested on inadmissible confessions extracted under torture.

It was a brief respite. Within 15 minutes, as the crowd shouted, "Shame, shame," guards had reshackled the prisoners and led them back to...

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