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Americans To Find Alleged Torturers

March 26, 1999

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) _ A Zimbabwean court today ordered authorities to arrange a lineup of about 20 police and security agents for three arrested Americans who claim they were tortured while in custody.

Magistrate Apheus Chitakunye granted a defense lawyer’s application for the lineup. The three U.S. citizens were arrested at Harare’s airport March 7 after being linked to a stash of weapons found in a pickup truck and their luggage.

John Lamonte Dixon, 39, Gary George Blanchard, 34, and Joseph Wendell Pettijohn, 35, were accused of espionage, terrorism and sabotage. They allege they were beaten on the soles of their feet, assaulted and subjected to electric shocks and near-suffocation torture for six days after their arrest.

Defense lawyer Jeremy Callow told the court an independent physician who examined the men 11 days after the alleged torture found evidence of bruising of their feet, legs and arms.

The alleged assailants had to be identified in order to take further action against police and submit a fuller report on ``torture, assault, intimidation and denial of fundamental rights,″ Callow said.

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