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Zimbabwe Dashes Suspected Mercenaries' Hopes of Early Release

Lawyers for 62 South African men jailed in Zimbabwe as suspected mercenaries say Zimbabwe's Supreme Court has approved a government bid to appeal their early release.

The lawyers told reporters today (Wednesday) that the men will be staying in Zimbabwe while the appeal is considered, perhaps for several weeks.

The men were arrested last year after their plane landed in Zimbabwe on a refueling stop. They were detained on suspicion of being involved in an alleged coup plot in Equatorial Guinea.

Earlier this month, Zimbabwe's high court cut their sentences by four months -- making them eligible for immediate release. Most were convicted on charges of violating weapons and immigration laws.

Zimbabwe's attorney-general had asked the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling on the grounds that they are foreigners.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP and SAPA.