Ivory Contraband Couple Arraigned
Ivory Contraband Couple Arraigned Website
DONATHA Peter (27), the Dar es Salaam businesswoman intercepted with over 50 kilogrammes of contraband government trophies at the airport last Tuesday, was yesterday arraigned in court with her Chinese husband and two security officials. Donatha, husband Zhang Zhilai and airport security officers Bakari Rashidi (30) and Jeremia Nicolas (28) denied three counts of conspiracy, illegal possession of the trophies and trying to export them without licence before Resident Magistrate Michael Mteite. The Prosecution led by state Attorney Misonge Martha asked the court to remand the accused, saying their case was unbailable. However, defence counsel Theonest Rutashoborwa objected, arguing that the prosecution did not cite any law that bars the court from granting the accused bail. “We totally object that the case is unbailable. The least they (prosecution) could have done is to mention the law which bars the court from granting bail to the accused.” the advocate said. He argued that Donatha and Zhilai were charged under the economic and organized crime control, wild conservation Acts and fisheries regulations, which did not prohibit bail. The counsel further pleaded that Donatha was two months pregnant and was suffering from early pregnancy disturbances. She also had left at home a baby under the care of a house help. The prosecution submitted that if the accused were released on bail they would interfere with investigations as other suspects were still at large. The magistrate reserved ruling on the submissions and remanded the accused until July 24. Donatha and Zhilai are charged with unlawful possession of five pieces of elephant tusks, 55 ivory handicrafts and several pieces of ivory, lion’s teeth and nails and sea shells all valued at 12m/-. They were intercepted at the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport as they prepared to leave the country on a scheduled flight. The security officers are charged with helping the couple through customs checks.
Source: Daily News