The High Court in Mombasa has set free Feisal Mohammed who was sentenced to 20 years in jail by the magistrate’s court for being in possession of elephant tusks worth Sh44 million.
Feisal was charged alongside Abdulhalim Sadiq, Ghalib Sadiq Kara, Abdulmajeed Ibrahim and Parveez Noor Mohamed who were later acquitted for lack of evidence.
Yesterday, Lady Justice Dorah Chepkwony quashed the sentence by Senior Principal Magistrate Diana Mochache on July 21, 2016, on grounds that Feisal had been convicted based on a law that had been repealed.
“The set out sentence in the new Constitution for possession of wildlife trophies as spelt out in the Constitution is Sh1 million with a one-year jail sentence. And the accused has already served four years in prison,” said Chepkwony.
Feisal who was put on the international list of most wanted trophy traffickers has already served five years since his arrest in 2015.
He was charged alongside five others with dealing and being in possession of 2,152kg of ivory in Mombasa on July 22, 2016.
“I have considered the submissions by both parties and I have satisfied myself that the prosecution failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt and that the appellant’s conviction was unconstitutional. I therefore proceed to quash the sentence,” said the judge.
In her judgment, the magistrate described the trial as extraordinary involving a grave crime. She declared a stringent sentence is necessary to “bring this mess [poaching] to and end” and save the elephant.
“Action such as this action by persons like the accused who are depleting our resources cannot be looked down upon because over 174 elephants were killed,” said Mochache.