Court grants bail to Zimbabwean journalists arrested for poaching report implicating officials

A Zimbabwean court has granted bail to three journalists accused of slander after they allegedly implicated an unnamed top police officer and other officials in the fatal cyanide poisonings of more than 60 elephants by poachers.

On Wednesday, Judge Tendai Mahwe released the journalists, who work for a state-owned newspaper, on $100 bail each. Their case was postponed until Nov. 27.

Sunday Mail editor Mabasa Sasa, investigations editor Brian Chitemba and reporter Tinashe Farawo were arrested Monday and charged with slandering the state.

The Sunday Mail this week ran a front-page story citing unnamed sources as saying a syndicate that included an unnamed police assistant commissioner, park rangers and foreign nationals from Asia were involved in the cyanide poisoning of elephants.

Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said the story is false.