Zimbabwe cricketer~~s arson trial adjourned

Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Harare:The trial of former Test player Mark Vermeulen, charged with arson attacks on the Zimbabwe cricket association's boardroom and training academy, was adjourned until next month by a court in Harare.

Magistrate Omega Mugumbate agreed to a defence application for the adjournment in order to allow leading lawyer Eric Matinenga to free up his schedule and the trial will now take place on December 6.

Vermeulen was released on bail but has to report to the police on a daily as well as surrender his passport.

The 27-year-old batsman, who played the last of his eight Test matches in 2004, faces two counts of arson and if convicted he faces 25 years in prison with hard labour.

He is accused of first trying to torch the association's boardroom at the Harare Sports Club ground late last month and then burning down the pavilion at the training academy the following day.

Vermeulen recently returned to Zimbabwe after a stint playing league cricket in England where he was slapped with a lengthy ban for throwing a ball at spectators.

He was also sent home from the 2003 tour of England after a string of run-ins with the management, including a refusal to travel with the rest of the team after he was twice out for a duck in the same Test match.


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