Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, who was facing treason charges, has been released his party has said.

Mr Hichilema was arrested in April after his motorcade allegedly refused to give way to President Edgar Lungu’s as the two leaders headed to a traditional ceremony in western Zambia.

He was accused of endangering the president’s life.

The UPND leader along with five of his supporters had been charged with treason which is a non-bailable offence under Zambian law. They “strongly” denied the charge.

A source had earlier told the BBC about the impending release and that it was part of a deal brokered by the Commonwealth:

“He is definitely being released today through a nolle prosequi [dismissal of a case] unless there’s a last minute development.”

Once a nolle prosequi is entered it means that the prosecution team will no longer prosecute a case, though the suspect may be re-arrested in future on the same case.

Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland was in Zambia last week and met up with President Lungu and Mr Hichilema.

She later hinted Mr Hichilema could be released in public interest.

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