Maria Amakali Windhoek-The Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Lüderitz Street on Wednesday provisionally withdrew the hearing of a case of illegally dealing in wildlife products after one of the accused Zhi Geng absconded from justice. Magistrate Brand van Platzen temporarily withdrew a case against James Wallace, 48, who faced charges of illegally dealing in and possession of controlled wildlife products together with fugitive Zhi, 38, following the state not being ready to proceed with the matter. The matter was on the court roll for plea and trial. The court returned N$30,000 paid by James Wallace, 48, after the state informed the court it was not ready to proceed with the case, consequently resulting in the provisional withdrawal. Wallace was informed that should the state in future be in the position to prosecute, the matter will return to the court roll. Wallace was arrested with Zhi for the possession of 95 kg of abalone, valued at N$235,000, on February 2, 2016. The prosecution alleges that the pair had no permit to possess the abalone. Wallace was to stand trial with Zhi, who according to the prosecution has absconded. Apart from the abalone, Zhi was found in possession of 27 pieces of rhino horn, weighing 1,15 kg and valued at about N$91,000, in Ludwigsdorf in Windhoek. According to police reports the rhino horn products were found cut up into small pieces, apparently for easy transportation out of the country. The court issued a warrant of arrest against Zhi on September 11, 2016 which resulted in his N$250,000 bail being provisionally forfeited to the state. On September 11, 2016 Zhi’s defence attorney Kadhila Amoomo was asked of his whereabouts but he informed the court that he could not get hold of Zhi as his mobile phone had been unreachable. Norman Tjombe appeared for Wallace while Tatelo Lusepani prosecuted.
2018-02-02 10:36:55 7 months ago