A Zambian court on Friday allowed opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema to challenge the prosecution from moving his treason case to the high court for trial, in a case that has stoked political tension months after contested elections.
The United Party for National Development (UPND) leader was arrested in a police raid on his home in April and charged with trying to overthrow the government.
Hichilema’s lawyers however said the case should not proceed to the High Court. But Magistrate David Simusamba told a packed hearing his court that Hichilema’s lawyers could seek a judicial review of the charges, before the case is handed over to the High Court for trial.
The opposition leader has been in jail for over a month now without the possibility of being released on bail.
He is accused of threatening the life of president Edgar Lungu as well as nursing plans to overthrow the government. He risks between fifteen years in jail to a death penalty.