Chombo’s trial postponed, ex-minister gets his passport back 

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By Court Reporter 

FORMER Finance minister Ignatius Chombo’s fraud trial was last week postponed pending a High Court’s decision on an application challenging his arrest.

Through his lawyer, Chombo applied for a permanent stay of prosecution in several criminal cases, arguing that he was unlawfully arrested.

Last week a Harare magistrate ruled that the trials, which were supposed to start last month, be stopped awaiting the top court’s ruling.

The cases were deferred to October 22.

During last week’s hearing, the court also agreed to temporarily release his passport as he intends to travel to unspecified destination

He was ordered to surrender the travel document on next court appearance.

Chombo was arrested last November as the military staged a coup which ousted then President Robert Mugabe.

The former treasury chief has complained in court that he was tortured by soldiers upon his arrest and detained for over a week.

The former Zanu PF politician said although he was not beaten, the experience of being detained in solitary confinement while being blindfolded was a traumatic. 

Chombo, a long-serving local government minister under Mugabe, is facing several fraud and criminal abuse of office charges with the alleged offences dating back to the 1990s.