Trial date set for rhino horn accused

2012-01-20 17:45
Johannesburg - The trial of a Free State game farmer and two Thai men accused of hunting rhino and exporting their horns to South East Asia will proceed in June.

The date was set when Marnus Steyl, out on R100 000 bail, and Chumlong Lemthongthai appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Friday.

The second Thai man, Punpitak Chunchom, was not brought from Boksburg Prison in time for the court appearance and was expected to appear on his own later on Friday.

Lemthongthai is being held in Modderbee Prison.

He and Chunchom face charges of contravening the Customs and Excise Act and of fraud.

Magistrate Prince Manyathi said the trial would be held between June 4 and 15.

Steyl appeared flustered by the media attention and cameras. He looked in front of him throughout his brief appearance.

In court to watch the proceedings was a delegation from the South African Revenue Service.

Their interest is in the alleged violation of the Customs Act through the movement of rhino horn from South Africa and Thailand to Laos.

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