The United States of America appeals from two orders of the United States District Courtfor the Southern District of New York whichdenied its applications for a restitution award in favor of the Republic of South Africa, pursuant to, first, the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act of 1996 (MVRA),and second, the Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982(VWPA). The Appeals Court ruled that South Africa: (1) has a property interest in rock lobsters unlawfully harvested from its waters, and (2) is a victim, as defined by the MVRA and VWPA, eligible to receive restitution. Accordingly, the Appeals Court said, "restitution is owed to South Africa."
The case involves the fact that from 1987 to 2001, Arnold Bengis, Jeffrey Noll and David Bengis (defendants) engaged in an elaborate scheme to illegally harvest large quantities of South Coast and West Coast rock lobsters in South African waters for export to the United States in violation of both South African and U.S. law. The district court heldthat South Africa had no property interest in either the lobsters that the defendants took from South African waters; that the governmentfailed to prove that the illegally harvested lobsters were the property of South Africa; and finally thateven if restitution was permissible as a matter of law, "the complication and prolonging of the sentencing process resulting from the fashioning of the order of restitution under this section would outweigh the need to provide restitution to the Republic of South Africa."
The Appeals Court reversed and remanded the district court orders and said, "?we hold that South Africa: (1) has a property interest in rock lobsters unlawfully harvested from its waters, (2) is a victim for restitution purposes, as defined by the MVRA and VWPA, and (3) whatever the complexity in fashioning a restitution order in this case, it is insufficient to preclude entry of suchan order under the MVRA. Accordingly, the judgments of the district court are vacated and the case is remanded to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."
The accused persons on the 4th July 2007 at about 23:00 hours in Kimande Village within rural district of Iringa were found in unlawful possession of government trophies in the form of 13 pieces of elephant tusks which weighed 68.7 kilograms in all. The accused persons pleaded not guilty. The second accused was found guilty whereas the first and third accused persons were found not guilty.
The appellants were alleged to have been found in the Tarangire National Park in unlawful possession of three swala pala meat valued at Tshs 1,813,500/-, three did-dik meat valued at Tshs 1,162,500/- and three reedbuck meat valued at Tshs 2,092,500/- all valued at Tsh 5,068,500/- the property of Tanzania Government. Upon conviction they were sentenced to pay a fine of two million shillings or to serve a prison term of twenty years. Their appeal to the High Court was unsuccessful hence this second appeal. Appeal allowed, the Court quashed their convictions, set aside their sentences and ordered their immediate release from prison.
The Republic versus Bahati S/O Michael Ngiriama and Juma S/O Ally Patric @ Kalumanzila - No. 03 of 2014
Sometimes between June 2009 and 18th August, 2014 in different occasions (at Ruaha National parks in Iringa Region and Madibira within Mbarali District in Mbeya Region) alleged to bought, accepted, transported and hunted unlawfully government trophies property of United Republic of Tanzania. They were also found with unlawful possession of the firearms. Then brought before the court to answer a charge. The accused persons were convicted on the third count (unlawful possession of firearms).
With the help of an informer, the accused person on 24th December 2000 at Mto wa Mbu area within Monduli District, Arusha region was found at Zanzibar guest house with two elephant tusks and three hippopotamus tusks property of the Tanzania government. The accused was found not guilty and therefore was acquitted.
On 24.11.2000, the Anti-Poaching Unit while in routine patrol heard a gun sound and responded immediately. Upon arriving at the crime scene, the Unit found the accused persons removing zebra skin they have killed using a riffle after shooting 22 rounds of ammunition. The accused persons were arrested. During trial, the prosecution tendered rifle ammunition, certificate of valuation, inventory of unclaimed properties short gun, a panga, an axe and hunting licence as exhibits. It transpired during trial that the accused license had already expired. All accused persons jumped bail. The accused was found guilty of the offences charged and sentenced in abstentia.
The respondent one, Hamisi Koni, was charged before the district of Mpanda with the offence of unlawful possession of government trophy. Upon the accused being arraign before Mpanda district was committed for bail. While enjoying court bail, the accused absconded from appearing to the court. The court ordered the case be heard yet the accused jumped bail. At last the court further Oordered prosecution to prove their case still prosecution failed to bring witnesses. Tn 29/03/2007 when the case was fixed for hearing and upon prosecution fail to bring witnesses the court invoked section 226(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act, Cap. 20 and acquitted the respondent. Hence the prosecution filed revision before High Court to challenge the decision of the district court in acquitting the respondent. The High Court allowed the appeal and quashed the decision of the trial court.
The accused person was caught on 19/09/2014 at Old Simiti hill area within SENAPA. The accused was in possession of weapons in the park namely; one spear, one bush knife, one sword, five trapping wires, ten pieces of fresh meat of wildebeest and three tails of wildebeest. He was arrested and taken to Anti-Poaching Unit at Bunda. However, the case was dismissed.
On 25.09.2014 Manyara Park Rangers were patrolling at Kirurumo area Manyara National Park. While patrol, the rangers met the accused and suspected him to be carrying government trophy. When the accused was stopped and searched, they were found in unlawful possession of zebra meat. The accused was found guilty and was therefore convicted.