By Ambrose Kweronda
Two suspects in the murder of 6 lions at Queen Elizabeth National park who had pleaded guilty before the Utilities, Wildlife and Standards Court in Kampala have made a U-turn.
The duo are Vincent Tumuhirwe a farmer and Robert Ariyo a Boda Boda rider both residents of Kanungu District.
The two last month appeared before Miriam Ayo Eddy Okello, the Chief Magistrate of the Utilities, Wildlife and Standards Court. They were charged with entering a protected area without permission, hunting wild animal in a wildlife conservation area without permission, killing wild animals and protected wildlife species in a wildlife conservation area without permission.
The suspects pleaded guilty to four charges but denied killing ten vultures and were remanded to Kitalya prisons.
The Prosecution alleges that between March 17th and 19th, 2021 the accused persons illegally entered Habugombwa Kob Mating Ground Ishasha Sector Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kanungu District. They allegedly hunted and killed six climbing lions and ten white vultures through poisoning.
According to the prosecution, the suspects were found in possession of four heads and, fifteen legs of lions ,one tail plus a three-liter jerrycan of lion fats without a valid wildlife use right.
However, the suspects yesterday changed their plea from guilty to not guilty before the State Prosecutors Joan Keko and Annet Tuhaisomwe could read for them the brief facts of the case.
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