More than 516 cases against suspected poachers were filed in Tanzanian courts during the first phase of anti-poaching Operation Tokomeza, Chief Justice Mohamed Chande Othman announced at a news conference Tuesday (January 28th).
Othman said 198 of the cases, registered between October 4th and November 1st last year, have already been heard and completed.
"The judiciary, being a key stakeholder in the fight against crime, in particular poaching, supports the operation, but through a strict observance of justice," Othman said according to Tanzania's The Citizen. "We have decided to give special priority to all cases that were filed to ensure they are disposed of timely."
The anti-poaching operation was suspended after an outcry from pastoralists who said they suffered human rights abuses at the hands of the anti-poaching forces, but it was reinstated after a few weeks.