Attorney General v Abdul Karim Winyi

Date of opinion

This appeal concerns the fate of four chimpanzees, brought from Zaire (in today's Democratic Republic of the Congo) by the Respondent. The animals are still in custody of the Uganda authorities, having been seized at Entebbe Airport as they were about to be exported to Dubai. The Respondent was at first arrested and charged with wrongful possession of the animals contrary to Section 14, 23 and 90 of the Game (Preservation & Control) Act (Cap. 224) and was acquitted. The present proceedings concern section 16 & 17 of that Act relating to improper importation and exportation of animals.
After being acquitted, the Respondent went on to sue that Attorney General, praying for: the return of the four chimpanzees, or payment of the value of the four chimpanzees at the time of judgement, special damages in the form of reimbursement of the cost of air travel for Mr. Winyi and the chimpanzees, general damages, and exemplary damages. The Respondent was successful, however without the return of the chimpanzees.
The Attorney General of the current case, petitioned an appeal to this judgement:
The Respondent did not import the chimpanzees properly through Lia, nor on the documentation, since he had no prior written permission of the Chief Game Warden, and also because he was exporting five chimpanzees instead of four. It was not possible to estop the Attorney General since the Statute had been broken technically and with unlawful intent. The Respondent ought not to have had these animals at all.
The next question arises: whether the Respondent deserve any compensation? Consequential damages can be claimed in the case of a fall in the market price of the detained article. This must be pleaded and proved. It was not. At the most it could be the value on the customs forms. Since the Respondent wanted the value at the date of judgement the Respondent precluded himself from asking for consequential damages, namely damages based on the value at an earlier date than the date of judgement. There is no ground for exemplary damages.
The appeal is allowed and sets aside the judgement of the High Court. (Provided by: UNODC SHERLOC)

Language of document