US citizen, Martha O'Donovan (C), who was arrested for undermining the authority of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Twitter, arrives at Harare Magistrate's Court in Harare November 4, 2017. / AFP / Jekesai NJIKIZANA
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An American woman charged with subversion in Zimbabwe for allegedly insulting the president on Twitter as a "sick man" made her first court appearance on Saturday as her lawyers disputed the charges that carry up to 20 years in prison.A lawyer for 25-year-old Martha O'Donovan, Rose Hanzi, told the court that the subversion charge was illegal because police did not inform O'Donovan of it when she was taken from her home in the capital, Harare, on Friday morning.O'Donovan also is charged with undermining the authority of or insulting the presidentO'Donovan has denied the allegations as "baseless and malicious". The group representing O'Donovan, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights says it has represented nearly 200 people charged for allegedly insulting Mugabe, the world's oldest head of state, in recent years.
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