Laikipia – Five suspected poachers have been arraigned in a Nanyuki court.
The court heard that Evans Macharia, James Nyaga, Patrick Ndururi, Joseph Njuki and Simon Gichuki killed a rhino and hacked out her two horns valued KES.6 million.
They allegedly committed the offence on February 22 and 23, this year at Olpejeta Conservancy in Laikipia County.
They also faced another count of killing a black rhino, a protected animal with intent of stealing its horns.
However, while appearing before Principal Magistrate, Waititu Gichimo, the suspects denied the charges.
James Nyaga and Joseph Njuki faced another count of being found in possession of rhino horns on February 25 at Kiambere area, Embu County.
The prosecution counsel, Lucas Tanui told the court that the accused persons are part of a poaching cartel and they may continue engaging in the illegal activity while on bond and that they could also jump bail owing to the seriousness of the offence.
However, the accused opposed the prosecution’s application, noting that it is their constitutional right to be given bond.
They also noted that the prosecution is driven by unfounded fear of them disappearing saying they have families and it is unlikely for them disappearing.
The court however remanded them till March 18 when the case will be mentioned.