TAWAU (BERNAMA) – A plantation manager in Kalabakan pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court yesterday to a charge of failing to surrender two tusks belonging to an elephant which was shot dead in September.
The accused, Jaifol Liun, 52, made the plea after the charge was read to him before Sessions judge Awang Kerisnada Awang Mahmud.
According to the charge, Jaifol, from Penampang, Kota Kinabalu had deliberately withheld the tusks of the protected animal, namely, two tusks from the Borneo Elephant species, to the enforcement officer or the Sabah Wild Life Department (JHL).
The offence was allegedly committed at the Kampung Felda Umas Manager’s Quarters in Kalabakan on October 2 at 9am.
He was charged under Section 40 of the Wild Life Conservation Enactment 1997 which is punishable under Section 40(3) of the same enactment, and could be fined not exceeding two years or fined a maximum RM50,000 if found guilty.
The prosecution was handled by JHL Deputy Public Prosecutor, Syarifuddin Abdul Rasa while the accused was represented by counsel, Mohamed Zairi Zainal Abidin.
Earlier, Syarifuddin fixed a RM10,000 bail in two sureties but the counsel for the accused asked for the bail to be reduced to RM5,000 as the accused had been suspended from his job pending the case.
The court then allowed the accused to a RM7,000 bail in two sureties and he had to surrender his international passport to the court until the case was settled.
The accused was also barred from harassing the prosecution witnesses and must report himself every two weeks at the Tawau Wild Life Department.
Meanwhile, three other accused – Paranchoi Nordin, 59, Abdullah Simin, 68, and Martin Alok, 44, who are currently in jail would be ordered to be present in court tomorrow over charges under the Wild Life Conservation Enactment 1997.
They would be charged with the intention of possessing or collaborating to own two elephant tusks from a fully protected species in Sabah.