Kenya: Meru Man Captured On Video Killing Elephant Arraigned

9 December 2019

A man suspected to have been part of the group that was captured in a video clip killing an elephant in Meru has been arraigned.

Appearing before Nanyuki Resident Magistrate Vincent Masivo, Mr Kenneth Muthaura Mbaabu was charged with killing the jumbo in Lower Imenti, Buuri Constituency, Meru County. Mr Muthaura denied the charge.

The video clip showing how the jumbo was being killed went viral on social media on November 19, 2019.

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) however, said that the incident took place on June 21, 2018.

ENDANGERED SPECIES

Prosecutor Virginia Kariuki told the court that the animal is classified as an endangered species and requested that the suspect be denied cash bail.

"According to the law, the elephant is classified as an endangered species. I am requesting that the accused person be released only on bond with two sureties," Ms Kariuki said.

She further requested the court to order the suspect to be reporting at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations office at Timau in Meru County every first day of the month as the case continues. But Mr Muthaura, through his lawyer Thuku Mbaaro, argued there was no sufficient reason to deny him cash bail.

CASH BAIL

Ms Kariuki said: "The suspect should be denied cash bail terms to secure his attendance to the DCI's office due to the nature of the case".

KWS Assistant Director in charge of Eastern area Michael Wanjau told the media on Monday that on November 22, 2019, a multiagency team started probe to arrest individuals captured in the video clip.

"Through a detailed probe, we have been able to identify ten other people who are still at large. We will arrest them soon," Mr Wanjau said.

He said the team collected tusks and pieces of bones of the animal which will be taken through a DNA analysis.

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