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.
Appellants had been convicted for unlawful hunting upon a plea of guilty before a Subordinate Court. They had hunted 19 springbok and 1 gemsbok without a licence. All pleaded guilty, were convicted and were sentenced to pay fines of varying amounts.
The appellant was convicted for hunting game without a licence contrary to Section 15(1) of the Fauna Conservation Act as amended. The accused went out to hunt a marauding lion together with an assistant, a man named Maitane and a man named Mothero. All men held valid licences to hunt zebra.
The two Accused had been convicted of unlawfully hunting game. The value of weapons and vehicle used in the commission of the offence exceeded the civil jurisdiction of a Subordinate Court, which accordingly referred the question of forfeiture of these articles to the High Court.
The court held that the onus is always on the prosecution to prove the guilt of an accused beyond reasonable doubt. The court held that it is the duty of the trial judicial officer to warn himself of the danger of convicting on the evidence of accomplice witnesses. The court held that the magistrate had failed to make a record of such warning.