A Mombasa Court has ordered police to detain two suspected ivory smugglers linked to the financing of terrorism and dealing in narcotics for three more days, pending a ruling on bond application.
This comes after Mombasa Principal Magistrate Diana Mochache requested for time to analyze the submission made by prosecution and the defence lawyers.
Prosecution opposed the release of the accused on bail on grounds that they are a flight risk and would escape the jurisdiction of the court if granted bail.
State Prosecutor Erick Masila said due to the nature of the offence and the consequences upon conviction, the accused are likely to abscond the court proceedings if granted bail.
“The offence is serious attracting a liability of life imprisonment and fees up to Sh20 million upon conviction, in view of the mentioned penalty, I urge the court to deny the accused bond at this stage,” he
Mr Masila argued that the offence has affected the biotic environment and gone against the natural values and principal of governance of the natural resources.
“The integrity, stability and beauty of the natural biotic system has been affected by the crime, we need to respect the environment and sustain it for the sake of future generation,” he said
The state counsel said the court must take into account the gravity of the offence and the consequences faced by the accused, and the need to protect wildlife.
However, lawyers for the two, Pascal Nabwana and John Magiya argued that denial of bond amounts to condemning the accused unheard, which he termed as a breach to the constitution.
They told court that the prosecution has not given adequate and convincing reasons to deny the accused bond.
Ali Omar Hajji and Said Alfani Mwinyi have denied being in possession of 1.406 kilograms of rhino horns worth Sh3 million on December 27 at Mama Ngina Drive within Mombasa County.
The two suspects also face a second charge where they are accused of dealing in wildlife trophies without permit.
The two were arrested as they attempted to source for customers.
The magistrate will deliver her ruling on January 18.