5 August 2015
- From the section Africa
The trial of a professional Zimbabwean hunter who led the expedition that killed Cecil the lion has been postponed until September.
Theo Bronkhorst said the charges he faces of failing to prevent an illegal hunt when the lion was shot in July by US dentist Walter Palmer were “crazy”.
Mr Bronkhorst has said he obtained all the necessary permits to kill the animal outside Hwange National Park.
The killing has caused outrage around the world and Mr Palmer is in hiding.
He is believed to have paid about $50,000 (£32,000) to hunt down Cecil, a major tourist attraction at Hwange National Park – Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve.
Zimbabwe’s Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri has called for Mr Palmer to be extradited to face charges.
As he was leaving the court in Hwangwe town, in north-western Zimbabwe, Mr Bronkhorst defended Mr Palmer.
“I feel sorry for my client [Mr Palmer]. He is a good man. He did nothing wrong,” the AFP news agency quoted him as telling reporters.
According to the Associated Press news agency, Mr Bronkhorst said the legal proceedings were wrong.
“I think it’s frivolous and I think it’s wrong. It’s an integral part of our country and it’s got to continue and if we do not use wildlife sustainably there will be no wildlife. Crazy,” he said.