Today’s Court Update
August 7th, 2023 (Hearing):
The fact that the ivory was described as “worked”, strongly suggests it was meant to leave Kenya via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). That last significant seizure in Kenya that included worked ivory was in June 2017 when 217 kg ivory was seized in the Embakasi housing estate, just outside of JKIA. Four of the seven men arrested had working connections to JKIA. That prosecution is still before the courts
ACCUSED: Lazarus Kinyumu Mativo, Samwel Muisyo Mutunem Bashir Kasim (Tanzanian national)
CHARGED: Count 1: Dealing with wildlife trophy of an endangered species without a permit or other lawful exemption contrary to Section 92(2) of the WMCA 2013.
Hon. H.M. Nyaberi Chief Magistrate
August 2nd, 2023 (Hearing): Today’s hearing did not take place. Lazurus Mativo, now the only accused, has hired a new advocate. The prosecution argued against the adjournment but was overruled. On Monday, the hearing will begin with the first prosecution witness, Bashir Kasim, who had originally been arrested. As Kasim is a Tanzanian national, and despite the fact that the charges against him have been withdrawn, he is being kept in custody until he testifies on Monday.
August 1st, 2023 (Hearing): The scheduled hearing did not take place. The prosecution withdrew charges against the 2nd and 3rd accused (Mutune and Kasim) with the idea that they will testify against the 1st accused. The charge has been amended to reflect the change with Lazarus Kinyumu Mativo now charged with possession and dealing in wildlife trophies.
May 22nd, 2023 (Mention): The scheduled trial court was not sitting as Chief Magistrate Nyaberi had been transferred and the replacement was not yet in station.
The two Kenyan accused, Lazarus Kinyumu Mativo and Samwel Muisyo Mutune, were both in court and represented by counsel. The third accused, Kasim, was not present, believed to be appearing from prison virtually. That, however , did not happen.
A new mention date was taken in the belief that the replacement magistrate will be in attendance to continue with proceedings.
Adjourned to June 15th, 2023.