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US prosecutors say criminals going free due to shutdown

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AFP |

Federal prosecutors in the United States said Friday that investigations are being disrupted and criminals going free due to the four-week-old partial shutdown of the government.

Still at work despite not being paid during the impasse, some 6,000 assistant US attorneys said many of the support services they depend on for their cases, like DNA tests, are not available, and funds necessary to pursue investigations have been locked up.

NAAUSA said many of the assistant prosecutors — who work under US attorneys in 93 jurisdictions around the country — are also finding it hard to pay their own bills.

“The government’s capacity to secure justice is becoming compromised by the government shutdown,” said the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys in a statement.

“The lack of travel funds, for example, is foreclosing the availability of interviews by federal agents and prosecutors with crime victims and witnesses,” the association added.

Read more: Trump: The worst US president ever?

“DNA testing, in some cases, is not being timely performed. Some trial subpoenas are not being served. Crime investigations and grand jury panels are slowing down, while perpetrators remain at large.”

NAAUSA said many of the assistant prosecutors — who work under US attorneys in 93 jurisdictions around the country.

NAAUSA said many of the assistant prosecutors — who work under US attorneys in 93 jurisdictions around the country — are also finding it hard to pay their own bills.

Read more: US govt. shutdown becomes longest in history

The shutdown began on December 22 after President Donald Trump rejected a budget bill that was almost finalized in the House and Senate, saying it did not contain $5.7 billion he demanded to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border.

On Friday there was little sign of a breakthrough in the impasse, with Democrats saying the Trump should allow the government to reopen first before negotiating over the wall and broader immigration policy.

© Agence France-Presse


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