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Human rights lawyer Coltart to challenge remand after arrest

He said his son was being held at Harare Central Police Station.

He was released hours later and, after a court appearance on Saturday, remanded in custody. He is expected to return to court next month.

His attorney, Chris Mhike, told TimesLIVE that his client will challenge the remand as the case has been adjourned to November 29.

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“I confirm that yesterday (Saturday) Doug Coltart appeared before Magistrate Taura Manuwere at Harare Magistrates’ Court and was granted bail or in other words released on his own liability by the trial court,” Mhike said.

Harare lawyer Chris Mhike

Mhike said the court did not have much time to deal with the case as Saturdays are normally reserved for brief questions.

“The court therefore did not have sufficient time to deal with Doug Coltart’s challenge to his pre-trial detention.”

He said it was then agreed between the state and the defense that submissions in support of Coltart’s challenge to being remanded in custody would be submitted in writing.

“So Doug will submit his challenge to remand in the next few days and the state will respond approximately a week later to that challenge. The case was adjourned to November 29, when the court is said to have issued a decision on Doug Coltart’s dismissal challenge.

Coltart said the arrest was an attempt to intimidate him into doing his job.

“Thank you all for your wonderful solidarity with this latest attempt to intimidate me from doing my job as a lawyer. Special thanks to the fantastic legal team and the solidarity of fellow lawyers. I have been released and will challenge these false accusations head-on,” he tweeted.

In 2019, Coltart was arrested and beaten during a protest organized by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ).

The teachers’ union was protesting low pay. Coltart was charged with “participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, disorder or bigotry”.