3 testify in high profile Malawi wildlife crime case involving Chinese national

By December 10, 2019Antipoaching, Illegal trade, News
Harold Kapindu, The Nyasa Times | December 6, 2019

Read the original story here 

The hearing of Malawi’s most wanted suspected wildlife trafficker and notorious king pin, Chinese national Lin Yun Hua’s case has started at Lilongwe Magistrates court. Appearing alongside Malawian James Mkwezalamba, Lin Yun Hua is answering charges of money laundering offense and dealing with government trophy.

Presided by Chief resident magistrate Violet Chipao, both the defense and the state cross examined and reexamined two witnesses, South Africa based veterinarian, University of Pretoria Director of veterinary, genetics and laboratory, Dr Cindy Kim Harper and Liwonde National Park Field Operations Manager Lawrence Munlo.

It was established that on 28 February, 2016, a Rhino went missing at Liwonde National Park and was later found killed with its horns cut off.  The found Rhino horn specimen were further sent to South Africa were Dr Harper conducted the DNA tests. On Thursday, witness, McPherson testified and made the defense to seek for an adjournment. The defense addressed the court that they will have to go to Zomba Magistrate Court to get the case file for the case as they claimed that some issues raised by the state witnesses are not in the witness report.

Speaking to Nyasa Times, State council Andy Kaonga said the two witnesses are very important to the case. “Bringing in the foreign witness, Dr Harper who is an expert in DNA testing would have been a challenge. We are therefore happy that she came and testified. We have eight witnesses. We are done with two and remaining with six,” Kaonga said.

In his brief remarks, Defense Counsel Chrispin Ndalama said the court would determine whether Dr Harper’s tests on samples are relevant or not. In November, Lin Yun Hua pleaded guilty to the charge of Illegal possessions of specimen of listed species, 103 pieces of Rhino horn.

Facts were presented and court convicted him on his own plea of guilty. A total of ten Chinese and four Malawian nationals have been arrested this year in relation to the syndicate in question and are at various stages of trial. Meanwhile, Chief Magistrate Chipao has adjourned the case to 21 January 2020.

Leave a Reply