A man has been sentenced to life imprisonment after he was found guilty of illegal possession of two elephant tusks.
Mr Matipei Parmaya has the option of paying a Sh30 million fine for the offence, according to Makindu Senior Resident Magistrate Gerald Mutiso.
“The court has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of the charges of being in possession of wildlife trophies, namely elephant tusks,” said Mr Mutiso at the Makindu Law Courts.
The court had heard that Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers who, in September 2014, were pursuing suspected poachers who had killed an elephant and removed its tusks in Tsavo West National Park, found the accused in possession of the tusks.
Following a tip off from members of the public, the pursuit by the KWS rangers narrowed down to Mr Parmaya, who, according to the prosecution was on the run.
TUSKS FOUND NEAR HIDEOUT
The tusks were found near Mr Parmaya’s hideout, near Kuku Ranch close to where the carcass of the slain adult elephant was rotting.
The rangers proceeded to arrest him.
In his defence, the accused had argued that he was innocent, saying that the tusks were planted on him by the rangers.
Senior prosecution counsel Mr Tito Wanga urged the court to give the accused a harsh punishment to deter poaching and trading in ivory, saying that the offence was common in the area.
And in his ruling, Mr Mutiso said that the court had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was guilty of the charges of being in possession of the two elephant tusks.