Suspected rhino poachers released by South African court ‘due to coronavirus’

A South African court has apparently released two men accused of poaching rhino horns. The suspects were arrested on Friday 24 April, caught with six rhino horns worth 6 million rand (£250,000), according to an article on an anti-poaching Facebook group.

The court in Mpumalanga said it decided to grand them bail “due to Covid-19″, without apparently explaining why.

They were released on condition they did not interfere with the investigation or witnesses and surrendered their passports. The post says the case is postponed to late June.

It describes the release as “shocking” and “alarming” as it seemingly flouted “normal procedure” to hold the suspects for seven days before bail can be approved, while IDs and criminal records are checked.

Thanks to Per Holmseth for the tip about that story.

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