A court in Zimbabwe denied a bail application Thursday by investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono because it said he has a tendency to commit the same wrongdoings if he was released, local media reported.
“[The] court is inclined to believe state’s submissions that he has a propensity to continue committing offenses as he committed this offense with another matter pending before the courts,” according to the New Zimbabwe website that quoted the ruling.
“In this case, accused is denied bail and has to remain in custody until trial commences,” according to the report.
Chin’ono is expected back in court Nov. 26. He is being targeted for exposing an alleged $60 million corruption case against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s family, according to human rights activists, foreign embassies and Zimbabweans.
A social media campaign against his arrest dubbed #ZimbabweanLivesMatter, sparked global condemnation of alleged human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
Chin’ono was re-arrested Nov. 3 on accusations of defeating the course of justice after he allegedly claimed on social media that he communicated with prosecutors who confided to him that Henrietta Rushwaya, Zimbabwe miners boss, was granted bail after she was arrested while attempting to smuggle 6 kilograms (13 pounds) of gold to Dubai, United Arab Emirates via the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport two weeks ago.
In early September, Chin’ono was granted bail after he spent more than a month in prison after being charged alongside opposition party leader Jacob Ngarivhume for inciting public violence.
The two appeared in separate courts in July to face similar charges but were remanded in custody pending bail.
That was after authorities warned that participants in protests planned for July 31 against alleged public sector corruption amid a deteriorating economy would be handled like “terrorists,” and would face jail time.
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