MARRED BY ADJOURNMENTS

Sh576m ivory case nears its end five years later

Magistrate orders prosecution to conclude its case by April when it is scheduled for hearing

In Summary

• Mombasa businessman Abdulrahman Mahmoud, his sons Sheikh Mahmoud and Mahmoud Abdulrahman were accused of trafficking the trophies to Singapore and Thailand.

• They were charged alongside Lucy Muthoni, Musa Lithare, Samuel Mundia, Salim Mohammed and Abbasi Issa. 

Ivory
Ivory
Image: FILE

In 2015, a father and his two sons were among eight people accused of smuggling Sh576 million worth of ivory.

Five years later, the case, marred by adjournments, transfers of trial magistrates and prosecutors nears its end. 

Mombasa businessman Abdulrahman Mahmoud, his sons Sheikh Mahmoud and Mahmoud Abdulrahman were accused of trafficking the trophies to Singapore and Thailand.

They were charged alongside Lucy Muthoni, Musa Lithare, Samuel Mundia, Salim Mohammed and Abbasi Issa.

They were jointly accused of engaging in organised crime and exporting restricted goods, 511 pieces of ivory weighing 3,127kg in 2015.

Last week, trial magistrate Evans Makori directed the DPP to close its case by April when it is scheduled for a hearing.

Makori scheduled the hearing over two days when the remaining five witnesses are expected to testify.

In 2018, the government had told the court that they intend to fly in five witnesses from Thailand.

The five included a wildlife and ivory analyst and officials who intercepted the consignment in Thailand.

The prosecution had also indicated their plans to bring in part of the consignment which was nabbed by the Thai officials.

The court heard that an officer who was in the custody of some crucial evidence had died. The evidence was to be adduced in court but could not be located.

The exhibits included an electric cutting machine which is believed to have been used in chopping off the ivory and weighing scales.

Origin of frustrations

In 2019, Makori expressed his dissatisfaction with how the DPP had handled the case.

He said his efforts to conclude and determine it have been frustrated by the prosecution.

Makori made the remarks after new prosecution lead Edgar Mulamula sought an adjournment.

Mulamula said he had just been handed over the file and had been informed the case was complicated and therefore required more time to familiarise himself with the matter.

The magistrate reluctantly adjourned the matter before giving the ultimatum.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris