Persecution of Hitschmann continues

The trial of Peter Michael Hitschmann, accused of illegally possessing ivory, has been postponed to June 15 as a key witness, senior warden with the parks and Wildlife Management, Philemon November, is out of the country.
Observers believe Hitschmann, who is still in remand prison awai

ting continuation of his trial on allegations of having attempted to assassinate President Mugabe in 2003, is being persecuted by the authorities for being a senior member of the MDC.
Another key state witness, detective inspector, Zororai Dhliwayo, told the court he was part of a group including CIO operatives and soldiers that raided Hitschmann’s house in search of weapons. They discovered two elephant tusks, of which the accused proved to them that he was lawfully in possession, but had not registered with the Parks and Wildlife Authority.
Trust Maanda, a prominent Mutare lawyer, argued for the defense that Hitschmann, a former police constabulary member, was keeping the elephant tusks behalf of the provincial Wildlife Society.
Maanda said the society, which leases Cecil Kopje Nature Reserves from the City of Mutare, had culled a troublesome elephant on 27 October 2003. The provincial warden of the Department of National Parks had been informed that the Society was in possession of two tusks.
He said the provincial warden informed the Wildlife Society of Zimbabwe to take the unregistered ivory pending regularization of papers regarding ivory that the Wildlife Society of Zimbabwe had earlier handed over to the National Parks.
Maanda questioned why his client was being taken to court for possessing ivory which had been known by the relevant authorities since 2003. – CAJ News

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