By Paul Mutua, Standard Digital, April 17 2013
KITUI, KENYA: Police in Mutomo, Kitui County, have re-arrested a 55-year-old Kitui businessman who was both fined and jailed for possession of ivory tusks but “erroneously” freed by court registry staff.
OCPD Thomas Ngeiywa said the convict Harrison Mulang’a was on Friday sentenced to one year jail term and also ordered to pay Sh130,000 by Mutomo Resident Magistrate Ms Sadra Ogoti.
Ngeiywa said after the sentence, the court registry staff failed to issue the prison committal documents for Mulang’a, leading to his freedom after paying the fine only.
The OCPD said the lapse was regrettable but they took it as mere mistake by the staff before re-arresting the convict.
Ogoti had found the convict guilty of illegally possessing 11 tusks from six slain elephants on December 1, 2012.
The magistrate said that in his defence, Mulang’a was unable to prove his claim that he had been framed by a person with whom he had a land dispute.
She said the prosecution had proved that the accused had broken the law by unlawfully being in possession of the tusks. She said Mulang’a did not have a permit nor a dealer’s licence to be in possess of the tusks.
The convict was represented by a Kitui-based advocate Joseph Muinde who unsuccessfully pleaded for a non-custodial sentence for his client, arguing he was a father of six children who solely depended on him for survival.
Ogoti said the three offences against the accused were serious and ordered the 11 tusks valued at more than Sh1 million be forfeited to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
Article at the following link: