Today’s Court Update
#8. September 12th, 2023 (Hearing): Today’s hearing featured an occurrence rarely seen in a wildlife prosecution (the author has never seen it before) whereby all of the prosecution witnesses, four KWS officers and the expert from National Museum of Kenya, testified in the same session.
In overview, KWS officers received intelligence of a man in the Chikololo area looking for an ivory buyer. Based on this information received, the officers left Mombasa in two teams, one as buyers and the second as a backup/arrest team.
At mid-morning, one of the KWS officers made contact with the accused and they arranged to meet. He produced a sack with ivory inside at which time he was arrested. He was taken to the Mariakani police station.
Dr. Ogeto Mwebi of NMK confirmed to the court that the four pieces of tusks taken from the accused were elephant ivory.
Mr. Kyseo, representing the accused, questioned KWS officers as to why photographs were taken at the police station and not at the scene of arrest. He was told for safety reasons, the officers do not remain at the arrest site any longer than necessary for safety reasons.
The court adjourned the matter to September 26th, 2023 for submissions. Today was the 8th sitting of this matter before the court.
Of particular note, Resident Magistrate Olivia Onyango Koranje indicated her intent that in similar KWS cases, all prosecution witnesses will be heard in the same sitting.
On July 25th, 2023 at approximately 10:00 hrs, the accused was found dealing with four pieces of elephant tusks weighing 4 kg and concealed in a stripped manilla sack.
Presiding Magistrate and Court:
Hon. Olivia Onyango Koranje – Resident Magistrate
Advocates for the Accused:
Ngari Charo Kahindi
1. Dealing in a wildlife trophy of endangered species contrary to Section 92 (2) WCMA.
2. Possession of a wildlife trophy of endangered species contrary to Section 94 WCMA.
Date of Arrest:
Date of Arraignment:
Location of Arrest:
Kwachikololo area, Kilifi County
4 kg ivory
#7. September 5th, 2023, (Mention): SEEJ did not attend any sessions from August 11th to the hearing on September 12th. During those court sittings, the accused made bail, but the conditions set are not known at this time.
#6. August 30th, 2023, (Mention): DNA
#5. August 25th, 2023 (Mention): DNA
#4. August 22nd, 2023 (Mention): DNA
#3. August 11th, 2023 (Mention): DNA
#2. August 8th, 2023, (Pre-trial Mention): First appearance of SEEJ on this matter. A mention date of August 22nd was set and first hearing date of September 12th. The accused was in custody and not represented.
#1. July 26th, 2023 (Plea): The accused pleaded not guilty before Resident Magistrate Olivia Onyango Koranje on charges of dealing and possession of wildlife trophies of endangered species.