By Sam Kiplagat
A Chinese national’s application to substitute her jail term with a fine was yesterday rejected by the High Court. Biemei Chen, 30, wanted to pay a fine and be deported to her home country.
Justice Lydia Achode said the reasons Chen gave for substituting the sentence with a fine do not hold. She said a fine alone will not reflect the gravity of the charges Chen is facing “given the increased concern in Kenya over poaching of wild animals particularly elephants”.
“The value of the ivory beads recovered from the applicant is estimated at Sh1,221,088. The fines imposed by the law, are be- tween Sh10,000 and Sh20,000,” Achode said.
Chen pleaded guilty before a Makadara court last month and was sentenced to 8, 15 and 8 months respectively for the three counts she was charged with.
Achode yesterday directed the sentences to run concurrently meaning that Chen will serve one year and three months in jail.
She was accused of possessing game trophies without a certificate of ownership, dealing with game trophies without a dealer’s licence and failing to report possession of game trophy contrary to the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act.
Chen had told the High Court that has been unable to adjust to the prison conditions, especially dietary needs, which has led to the deterioration of her health.
She pleaded to be fined saying that her three children had been left destitute after her jailing. More....