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Torit Court jails man over bush meat

By Ijoo Bosco

 

Wildlife court in Eastern Equatoria State capital, Torit, has sentenced a 37-year-old man to four years in prison and a fine of 600,000 South Sudanese Pounds for trading bush meat.

Maj. Gen. Paul Adot Stephen, Director of Wildlife Service in the state, explained that the man was arrested on March 19th while driving a Land Cruiser belonging to Lafon County Commissioner Magisto Ukach.

The vehicle was loaded with bushmeat, which is strictly prohibited by law.

“Our law states that any vehicle used for wildlife crime is considered evidence,” Maj. Gen. Adot said. “The car and driver were detained, and the case concluded today with the sentence.”

Commissioner Ukach however denied any involvement in the incident, claiming he was in Juba for official duties and that the car was sent to Torit for repairs by the county executive director.

“Our security forces apprehended a Land Cruiser on March 19th. Upon investigation, we discovered it belonged to the Lafon County Commissioner,” General Adot explained.

“Our law dictates that any vehicle involved in wildlife law violations is considered evidence and brought to court. The car and the driver were detained, and today the court concluded the case.”

The court ultimately found Commissioner Ukach innocent of personal involvement but acknowledged that his car was used for the illegal activity. The presiding judge issued a final warning to the commissioner regarding the careless use of his vehicle for illegal purposes.

The driver received a four-year prison sentence and a 600,000 SSP fine. The court also ordered the confiscation of the car unless the fine is paid within a specific timeframe.

Maj. Gen. Adot emphasized the importance of adhering to the law, regardless of one’s position.

“Government officials are not above the law. Cars provided by the government are not for illegal activities. We all, including the president, are subject to the law. This serves as a reminder to all government employees to strictly follow regulations, including wildlife laws,” he concluded.

 

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