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DPP appeals acquittal of ivory case suspects

By PHILIP MUYANGA
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The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji wants the acquittal of four people who had been charged with possessing ivory worth Sh44 million set aside and the suspects sentenced to life imprisonment.

Through senior assistant DPP Alexander Muteti, Mr Haji also wants a 20-year jail term imposed on businessman Feisal Ali for being in possession of ivory enhanced to life imprisonment.

Mr Muteti argued that the acquittal of Mr Abdul Halim Sadiq, Mr Ghalib Sadiq Kara, Mr Praverz Noor Mohamed and Mr Abdulmajeed Ibrahim who had been charged alongside Mr Ali was a miscarriage of justice.

He told Justice Dora Chepkwony that the prosecution’s case was based on recovery of ivory and that the undisputed fact is that it was found within the premises Fuji Motors East Africa Ltd. Mr Muteti further argued that the company should have been convicted as to how the ivory was found and that the directors take responsibility of its activities.

“A company does not have a mind of its own, it acts through directors who are body, mind and soul of the company. The circumstantial evidence is so overwhelming that is incapable of any reasonable hypothesis than that of guilty on the part of all the accused, they were all in it, they must take responsibility,” said Mr Muteti.

The respondents, through their lawyers opposed the appeal saying witnesses who would have unravelled the mystery surrounding the ownership of the ivory were never called to testify.

Through lawyer Taib Ali Taib, Mr Ali who is serving his jail term at Shimo la Tewa prison told the court that the trial magistrate assumed prosecutorial role. “The magistrate became an analyst of call records without evidence by anyone” argued Mr Taib adding that each finding of the trial court entitled his client to an acquittal.

Mr Taib further said that conviction of Mr Ali was not based on any direct evidence but circumstantial evidence.

The judgment will be delivered on July 31.