Zimbabwe top prosecutor charged with obstructing justice

Zimbabwe's chief prosecutor Johannes Tomana (C) was suspended in 2016 for dropping charges against two men accused of plotting to bomb a dairy plant belonging to the wife of President Robert Mugabe (AFP Photo/JEKESAI NJIKIZANA)

Harare (AFP) - Zimbabwe's chief prosecutor appeared in court Tuesday charged with obstructing justice after he dropped a case against men accused of plotting to bomb a dairy run by President Robert Mugabe's family.

Johannes Tomana, 48, was seen as a Mugabe loyalist but has fallen out with the president, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980 and is often accused of controlling the judicial system.

The suspects in the alleged dairy bomb plot include the leader and an activist from the Zimbabwe People's Front, a fringe opposition party, an army corporal and a retired intelligence officer.

Tomana, who appeared before magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe in a packed Harare courtroom, was released on a bail of $1,000 and did not enter a plea.

He was charged with "abuse of office and obstructing justice" when he authorised the release of two of the four suspects facing treason charges over the alleged plot to bomb the dairy plant.

They were arrested near the farm in Mazowe, west of the capital, and accused of planning the attack as a protest against Mugabe's rule.

The other two suspects were remanded in custody.

Tomana was previously accused by opposition parties of bias against Mugabe's opponents.

But last year he clashed with Mugabe's wife Grace after he said girls as young as 12 should be able to get married.

In 2015, a court found him guilty of abuse of office after he refused to prosecute a ruling party lawmaker facing rape charges. Tomana was spared jail after reversing his decision.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting