The High Court in Mombasa has set free Feisal Mohammed who was sentenced to 20 years in jail and fined Sh20 million by a magistrate court for being in possession of elephant tusks worth Sh44 million.
Feisal was charged alongside Abdulhalim Sadiq, Ghalib Sadiq Kara, Abdulmajeed Ibrahim and Parveez Noor Mohamed who were later acquitted for lack of evidence.
Lady Justice Dorah Chepkwony on Thursday quashed the sentence rendered by Senior Principal Magistrate Diana Mochache in July 21 2016 on grounds that the 20 years conviction and Sh20 million were unconstitutional.
Justice Chepkwony said that the minimum sentence for being in possession of ivory was one year with a fine of Sh1 million.
“The set out sentence in the new Constitution for possession of wildlife trophies is Sh1 million with a one year sentence,” said Chepkwony.
Justice Chepkwony said that the prosecution had failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt and had left it to the courts to fill in the scattered evidence.
“It is my finding that the court was left with a lot of questions to answer. The court was left with scattered evidence to fill and prosecution shifted the burden of proof to the appellant (Feisal),” said Chepkwony.
Feisal’s tension and relief was all written as the judge read through the judgment and as soon as the word ‘I quash the sentence’ was read than a broad smile was registered on his face.
He was branded the kingpin of ivory trafficking within East Africa and even put on the international list of most wanted trophy traffickers.