Chief Justice Luke Malaba yesterday criticised some magistrates’ approach to high-profile corruption cases, which he said results in the collapse of cases and unjustified release of suspects on bail.
Addressing 46 magistrates manning the Special Anti-Corruption Courts at a training workshop in Harare, Malaba said the lax approach by some magistrates was the same as laundering of criminals. Said Chief Justice Malaba:
When people are arrested for corruption, a lot of noise is made. The next thing we hear of the granting of bail without good reasons. Some of the cases ended with some order for permanent stay of prosecution. Do you think we can safely say we have a functionary criminal justice system under the circumstances? All the system would have done is to launder the criminals. Let us not be placed in the roles of facilitating the laundering of criminals.
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Malaba also urged magistrates not to be influenced by the status of the accused person, but to deal with the case brought before them in terms of the law.