CONSERVATIONIST CLEARED OF IVORY CHARGES
(Posted 12th March 2014)
A highly publicized car chase and subsequent arrest last year of Mrs. Susan Soila, Deputy Director of Amboseli Trust for Elephants, and her son Robert by law enforcement personnel and Kenya Wildlife Authority staff, has now ended with all charges being withdrawn over what is described as ‘tainted evidence’, suggesting it was either doctored or outright faked by third parties with an agenda against Mrs. Soila.
When produced in court last year the two pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ and were released on a Kenya Shillings 200.000 bond each while the case was ongoing.
The two immediately claimed they were framed by KWS personnel they in turn all but accused of being involved in the illicit blood ivory trade, only to end up in the dock when the case was turned on its head.
The lawyer of Mrs. Soila, one Philip Murgor, was quoted by a conservationist to this correspondent in an overnight mail dispatch as having said upon the court setting his clients free: ‘This case serves as a good example as to why all KWS investigations on serious poaching of elephants and rhinos together with prosecutions should be directed and conducted by DPP’s office. My clients are grateful that they stand vindicated of the false accusations and that they can now resume their work in conservation in the country’.
It is understood from usually well informed sources that KWS will now have a fresh look at the allegations made at the time against some of their staff vis a vis complicity in poaching and for framing the innocent pair but it is heartening to see that for once Kenya’s justice system worked and in fact stood up and threw out what was often described as an entirely frivolous case, smacking of an act of vengeance and vendetta.
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