Eleven sentenced to death in Tanzania over conservationist's murder

Eleven sentenced to death in Tanzania over conservationist's murder

Renowned conservationist Wayne Lotter was a founder of the PAMS Foundation, which worked to stop the poaching of elephants
Renowned conservationist Wayne Lotter was a founder of the PAMS Foundation, which worked to stop the poaching of elephants

DAR ES SALAAM - A court in Tanzania sentenced 11 people to death on Friday over the 2017 murder of renowned conservationist Wayne Lotter.

Lotter, a 51-year-old South African based in Tanzania, was a founder of the PAMS Foundation which worked to stop the poaching of elephants and trafficking of ivory in the east African country.

He was shot dead in Dar es Salaam while in a taxi on his way back from the airport.

The exact motive for his killing is still unknown but colleagues of Lotter believe he was targeted for his work on protecting elephants.

"Some of the suspects, in their statements recorded by police officers, confessed to have taken part in the conspiracy meetings and in killing," the judge, Laila Mgonya, told the court.

"The evidence provided was strong enough to convict them."

The handing down of death sentences is not uncommon in Tanzania but they are generally commuted to life in prison.

The last execution carried out in the country was in 1994.

Tanzania has been one of the African countries worst hit by elephant poaching, losing more than 66,000 elephants in a decade, but interdiction efforts mean poaching has declined in recent years.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT

Pentagon tracking Chinese spy balloon over US

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon said Thursday that it was tracking a Chinese spy balloon flying high over the United States that appeared to be surveilling highly sensitive nuclear weapons sites.

08:45

EV battery excise tax to be reduced to 1%

A national committee on electronic vehicle policy, also known as the EV board, on Thursday agreed in principle on a proposal to lower the excise tax on EV batteries from the current 8% to just 1% while offering a 24-billion-baht subsidy to the EV battery-producing industry.

08:10

Pheu Thai unveils prospective picks

The Pheu Thai Party on Thursday announced the names of 61 people who intend to run as party candidates in the next general election.

08:08