The alleged ‘Queen of Ivory,’ Chinese national Yang Feng Clan yesterday broke her silence over the prosecution’s failure to call witnesses in the trial under which she is accused with two other businessmen of illegally dealing in elephant tusks worth 5.4bn/-.
She told Principal Resident Magistrate Huruma Shaidi at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam when the trial came for hearing that for four consecutive sessions the prosecution has failed to summon any witness, thus causing unnecessary delays of disposal of the matter.
“This is not fair, your honour. President Magufuli says Hapa Kazi Tu, but we do not see any implementation of this slogan before this court. I am in remand and I have been denied bail. Where is justice now?” she queried.
The trial magistrate assured the accused persons that the case will be disposed of soon as it has been causelisted in a special session. He disclosed that the hearing session will resume on March 29. Other accused persons in the matter are Manase Philemon (39) and Salivius Matembo (39).
In the trial, the prosecution alleges that between January 1, 2000 and May 22, 2014 in the city, all the three accused persons carried on business of the said government trophies. They allegedly bought and sold 706 pieces of elephant tusks weighing 1889kg valued at 5,435,865,000/-.
The prosecution alleged that within the same period and place, intentionally, Clan organised, managed and financed a criminal racket by collecting, transporting or exporting and selling the elephant tusks without having permit of the director of wildlife or CITES permit.