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A publisher detained after his newspaper reported the arrest of 23 soldiers in a suspected coup plot was freed Monday.

The attorney general's office said police had insufficient evidence to hold Clive Wilson, 62, who spent three nights in custody, said Wilson's lawyer, Innocent Chagonda.

Wilson's arrest Friday came a day after the editor and a reporter for his weekly Standard newspaper were released bearing signs of torture.

After being set free, Wilson said he was tired and humiliated and suffered discomfort in a cell crowded with criminals. He said he was not harmed.

Under interrogation for nearly four hours, police wanted to know if he knew the sources of the coup report. When he told them he didn't, they asked if he could exert pressure on his staff to divulge them, the publisher said.

"I said my editor and his reporter had been tortured and had not cracked so they were unlikely to do it under me," Wilson said.

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