Update: Steyl granted bail in “pseudo-hunt” case

5 December 2012 – Free State game farmer Marnus Steyl – who stands accused of assisting wildlife traffickers to obtain a steady supply of rhino horn for black market trade – has been granted R100 000 bail after a brief appearance in the Vryburg Regional Court.

He faces provisional charges that include 23 counts of fraud, five of illegally hunting white rhino, and several counts of money-laundering. He has been ordered to hand over his passport to police. The public prosecutor told the court that Steyl had “misused” the hunting permit system.

In granting bail, the magistrate said that to release Steyl with only a warning to appear in court would send the wrong message. People accused of rhino crimes must know there are consequences, he said.

The case has been postponed to 25 March.

Many thanks to Karyn Maughan for the updates and live tweets from the courtroom.

Update:

25 March, 2013 – Marnus Steyl has been charged with 29 counts of fraud related to the acquisition of hunting permits for alleged pseudo-hunts. He also faces two counts of illegally hunting white rhinos.

The case has been postponed to 8 July 2013.

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