The trial of a prominent gay rights activist in Zambia has resumed after a delay of several months.

Paul Kasonkomona was arrested in May following a live television appearance in which he argued for same-sex relationships to be decriminalised in Zambia.

He was charged with “soliciting for immoral purposes”.

Mr Kasonkomona alleged that police delayed access to his HIV medication in custody and that their actions put his life at risk.

His lawyers have sued for unlawful detention as he was kept in police cells for more than 48 hours before being charged. He has also demanded damages for mental distress and injury.

Sentences of 14 years can be issued for those convicted of same-sex sexual activity in Zambia.

“We were sent to go and apprehend Kasonkomona and we obeyed those instructions,” police officer Kalowa Mwanamwale told magistrate Lameck Ngambi.

Yesterday’s hearing was adjourned to 11 November after attempts to play a recording of the television programme in court as part of the evidence failed.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.