President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday, February 21 brought relief to a man who was jailed by a Mombasa court for being found in possession of a python without a permit.
In a report by the Daily Nation, Benedict Karissa Fondo who was convicted on February 12 and given the option of a two-year jail term or an alternative of a fine of Ksh1 million, eventually regained freedom after the president reportedly paid the Ksh1 million fine.
Coast Regional Coordinator John Elungata confirmed that Benedict was released from Shimo La Tewa Prison in Mombasa County where he had started serving his jail term.
Elungata further stated that Karisa received Ksh8,340 to cater for transport to his home in Mtwapa, Kilifi County.
The 30-year-old was arrested by security officials at the Likoni Channel on Tuesday, February 11 with a 10 kg python that measured 2.3 metres.
A report by the Kenya Wildlife Service indicated that Karissa wrapped the reptile in a white bedsheet and put it in a black suitcase.
During his litigation at the Mombasa Court, Karissa pleaded guilty to the charges of being in possession of the snake.
Mombasa Resident Magistrate Vincent Adet also ordered the snake be surrendered to the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) for safe custody.
While issuing the orders for the sentencing, the magistrate noted that the suspect, who had once worked with KWS, ought to have known that he required a permit to deal with wild animals.
The judge also indicated that the suspect did not give convincing information to the court on the intention of having the snake.
Karisa argued that he was ferrying the reptile to a snake farm in Ukunda, Kwale County.
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