A Tanzanian court has ordered the release of opposition leader Freeman Mbowe after the prosecution dropped terrorism charges against him.
In a judgement handed down on Friday, session judge Joachim Tiganga ordered Mbowe’s freedom alongside three other defendants after the prosecution moved to drop charges of terrorism financing and conspiracy.
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“The case is now removed from the court and I order the suspects to be released unconditionally,” Tiganga said. “They should be released from jail immediately.”
Mbowe, chairman of the Chadema party, was arrested in July along with a number of other senior party officials just hours before they were to hold a public forum to demand constitutional reforms in Tanzania.
His supporters had branded the case as a politically motivated move to crush dissent, and Mbowe has accused police of torturing him during his nearly seven months in custody.
“We have no intention to continue with the case,” state prosecutor Robert Kidando told the court.