By Russell Kondowe, Malawi 24
The Magistrate Court in Lilongwe has started hearing the case involving a Chinese national who is answering charges of possessing ivory pieces worth over K41 million.
Yun Hua Lin, who was one of Malawi’s most wanted wildlife traffickers was arrested in August this year and is answering charges of money laundering and illegal possession of listed species.
On Thursday, the court heard the testimony of a man who said was given K2.5 million for providing pieces of ivory to the Lin through another man only identified as Steve.
The defence argued during the cross examination, that the witness had been promised a reduced sentence to provide evidence. However, lawyer for the state, Andy Kaonga dismissed the claims.
Lawyers also cross examined and reexamined South Africa based veterinarian Dr Cindy Kim Harper who conducted the DNA tests using specimens of a Rhino that was found killed at Liwonde National Park. Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned the case to 21 January 2020.
Lin, 46, is accused of being involved in the smuggling of elephant ivory, rhino horns, pangolin scales among other trophies and was on the run for months following the arrest of nine other Chinese nationals and four Malawians in May this year including his wife Qin Hua Zhang.
He is also connected to the recovery of a number of wildlife trophies including 3 live pangolins, 556 pangolin scales, 103 pieces of rhino horns, 2 hippo teeth, ivory made chopsticks and processed ivory.
The Chinese national was previously convicted of attempting to export processed Ivory at KIA in 2014.