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Zimbabwe minister accused of terrorism

Roy Bennett, the former Zimbabwean opposition activist, has been charged with conspiracy to commit banditry, sabotage and terrorism.

Bennett was pulled from an aircraft and arrested Friday shortly before he was due to take his oath of office and become deputy minister of agriculture, CNN.com said.

Bennett's lawyer, Trust Maanda, said police claimed his client had been involved in funding for arms and explosives to commit the crimes he is charged with. Police claimed that the weapons would be used to sabotage essential services, TimesOnline said.

TimesOnline said Bennett denied the charges and believes that they are politically motivated.

The Movement for Democratic Change nominated Bennett to be a minister in a national unity government with President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

There has been conflict between Bennett and Mugabe's government in the past. Benntett's farms were seized during the country's controversial land reform program and served jail-time for assaulting Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa in parliament.