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    Zimbabwean hunter Theo Bronkhorst arrives at court in Hwange September 28, 2015

    Cecil the Lion: Case Against Hunt Leader Should Be Thrown Out - Attorney

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    The lawyers of a professional hunter who has been accused of helping to kill the famous lion in Zimbabwe, asked that all charges be dropped on Monday, who see no ‘chargeable offence’ in the circumstances.

    Previously, the court charged fifty-two-year-old Theo Bronkhorst, who was richly compensated by the lion’s killer, Walter Palmer, with ‘failing to prevent an illegal hunt’.

    If convicted, he will be imprisoned for 15 years.

    Bronkhorst has repeatedly denied allegations. He said he had a license to kill the lion outside the national park from which Cecil was lured away and shot with a bow and arrow.

    “The charge is not clear and the circumstances do not constitute a chargeable offence”, said Bronkhorst’s lawyer Perpetua Dube.

    Dube’s application has been received by prosecutor Namatirai Ngwasha, who said it would take time to conduct research on the defense’s statement.

    The trial has been remanded until October, 15, as the regional magistrate Dambudzo Malunga must decide if the case should be thrown out of court.

    The brutal killing of the lion in early July incited anger and reproach from around the world, as 13-year-old Cecil was one of the most famous and beloved lions in Africa, who attracted tourists to the national park and became the focus of an Oxford University research project, which traced the lion and recorded its last movements. It has been estimated by National Geographic that only 20,000 of the animals remain in the continent, down from an estimated 450,000 in the 1940's.

    Dentist Walter Palmer who paid $55,000 (£35,000) to kill the animal, was roundly rebuked in social media and took cover, as protesters were gathering outside his office in Minnesota.

    He apologized for killing Cecil and accused Bronkhorst of misguiding him.

    “If I had known this lion had a name and was important to the country or a study, obviously I wouldn’t have taken it. Nobody in our hunting party knew before or after the name of this lion,” said the trophy hunter who was compelled to suspend his dental practice after the scandal.

    Palmer, who recently returned to work, says he had used a dead animal as bait to lure the lion out of the protected area. He then proceeded to shoot the majestic creature with a bow and arrow, track it for the next 40 hours, and eventually shoot him with a gun before skinning and beheading him. Palmer said he believed his guides had the necessary permits.

    Honest Ndlovu, an owner of the game park where Cecil was killed, was listed among five state witnesses in the trial after initially being accused of allowing “a person who is not ordinarily a resident in Zimbabwe to hunt the said animal, which was not on the hunting quota.”

    Bronkhorst, released on a $1,000 bail, arrived at the court in Hwange northwestern Zimbabwe on Monday.

    He was also arrested earlier this month on separate charges, as he was reportedly planning to smuggle 29 sable antelopes into South Africa.


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