Petroc Trelawny, the Radio 3 presenter arrested in Zimbabwe last week by immigration officials, has been freed. The 41-year-old Cornishman had been narrating a concert for disadvantaged children when he was detained on the charge of not having a work permit.
The attorney general dismissed Trelawny’s case, heard in Bulawayo magistrates court, yesterday. According to his lawyer Munyaradzi Ngarayapenga, no reason was given for dropping the charges. Trelawny was not working in an official journalistic capacity during this stay, which would require state accreditation. On this visit, he appeared as an unpaid narrator for a performance of the British Council-funded Song of the Carnivores. It has been suggested that the overseeing music academy should have been responsible for organising a temporary employment permit, as it did for the other musicians taking part.
During his stint being held in prison, the BBC presenter is reported to have slipped over on a wet floor, dislocating his shoulder. As a result, he was taken to hospital, remaining under police guard, and was there when his lawyer delivered him the good news of his release. Trelawny, who has often visited Zimbabwe in the past and plans to do so in the future, is now free to return to Britain when he likes.
‘He’s absolutely passionate about classical music and he loves going there to work with the kids,’ his elder brother Andrew told The Telegraph.