Court finds Chinese national and Malawian with wildlife related cases to answer

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By John Namalenga Jnr

The Chief Resident Magistrate Court in Lilongwe has found Chinese national Lin Yun Hua and his Malawian driver Jimmy Mkwezalamba with cases to answer on wildlife offences leveled against them.

Making her ruling, Chief Resident Magistrate Violet Chipawo told the court that closure of the case was done and the defense submitted that Lin Hua and Jimmy Mkwezalamba have no case to answer and must therefore be acquitted.

The state on its part submitted that they have enough evidence to believe the two accused have cases to answer on the alleged offences.

“Lin Yun Hua and Jimmy Mkwezalamba were arrested on counts of possession of listed species, dealing in government trophy, conspiracy to commit a felony and money laundering.

“They already pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of listed species and the court had to make determinations on the remaining counts,” read Chipawo.

Dealing in government trophy was to do with pieces of rhino horns, conspiracy to commit a felony was allegedly done with a Zambian colleague and money laundering borders on dealing in a protected animal in full knowledge of the act and seven witnesses were paraded by the state in the case.

The witnesses included a DNA analyst, an Operations Manager at Liwonde National Park, a serving convict, an Assistant Parks and Wildlife Officer with a colleague from the department and two police investigators who specialize in wildlife crime investigations.

The court, according to Chipawo, had to take stock of the evidence to determine if the state has convincing evidence to warrant entering of defense with consideration to other submissions from both sides.

She then pronounced that the two have been found with cases to answer on dealing with government trophy, conspiracy to commit a felony and money laundering.

Lawyer for the defense, Chrispin Ndalama hinted that the two accused will be witnesses on their own behalf and two more witnesses will be paraded.

“Parading of the witnesses will need a full day and I we will be done with them within the day,” added Ndalama.

As the court has set 18 September as the day for continuation of the matter, Ndalama believes the defense will need seven days to prepare witnesses and parading of the witnesses will be done in a day.

The two were arrested in May last year by police and items believed to be in their possession were confiscated during a search at the house of the Chinese national Lin Yun Hua in Lilongwe.

 

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