Pangolin case sees another postponement

07 Oct 2016 14:00pm
WINDHOEK, 07 OCT (NAMPA) - The case of a Windhoek resident arrested in May this year for illegal possession of a live pangolin and two pangolin skins, has seen another postponement.
Court documents availed to Nampa on Friday morning show that the 37-year-old Chrispin Sibitwani made another appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court along L├╝deritz Street on Thursday, when his case of alleged pangolin trading was postponed until 01 December 2016 for the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)'s Protected Resources Unit to complete investigations.
Sibitwani was also on Thursday informed by the court that the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid is still to appoint and instruct a State-funded defence lawyer for his legal representation during future court proceedings and when trial begins.
He is charged with two counts of illegal possession of or dealing in controlled wildlife products, and having contravened some sections of the Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Act of 2008 for the illegal possession of a live wild animal.
Sibitwani earlier told the court he will plead not guilty to the charges levelled against him when his trial begins.
He is free on bail of N.dollars 1 500, which was on Thursday extended until his next court appearance.
Public Prosecutor Ivann Tjizu handled the prosecution's case on Thursday.
Sibitwani was arrested on 23 May 2016 at an office unit rented by Shimwe Security Company in the Edumeds Building Complex along Independence Avenue in Windhoek.
The live pangolin was found hidden in a safe, while the pangolin skins were found in a maize meal bag.
Pangolins are covered in tough scales made of keratin like human hair and nails. They are found across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, and mostly eat ants and termites.
The scales of the endangered species are dried and sold in Asia as a cure for cancer and other health conditions.