A prominent aide to Zimbabwe's prime minister was sent to jail Wednesday to await trial on charges linked to long-discredited allegations his party plotted President Robert Mugabe's violent overthrow.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said the case against Roy Bennett threatened the coalition he joined with Mugabe earlier this year.

Tsvangirai had nominated Bennett as deputy agriculture minister in the coalition. Bennett was arrested the day the Cabinet was sworn in and charged with weapons violations. He denies the charges against him.

Bennett had been free on bail since March. In a maneuver that appeared staged to ensure he was jailed again, prosecutors filed a new indictment Wednesday.

Magistrate Lucy Mungwari said the accusations needed to be settled in court, and ordered Bennett back to jail. He was taken immediately to the cells and will have to reapply for bail on Monday.

Bennett's trial originally was set to begin Tuesday, and he waited in court all day, only to have prosecutors appear at 4 p.m. and ask to start Wednesday.