2,000 criminals free in Zimbabwe

Feb. 13, 2013 at 8:43 AM

HARARE, Zimbabwe, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Authorities said there are more than 2,000 convicted criminals who are free in Zimbabwe after obtaining bail before their appeals.

Robbers, rapists, car-jackers, housebreakers and many other convicts are, as a result, free until their appeal dates, NewsDay reported.

Authorities said the numbers of free convicts has become so high as a result of processing delays in court, mainly the shortage of transcribers and the use of old technology.

An official said the 16 open transcriber positions can't be filled because of a freeze on government jobs.

The courts are attempting to acquire recording and transcribing machines to speed up the appeal process, NewsDay said, but have a very limited budget and currently can only see about 12 of the cases per week.

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