Suspicion now grows around Zimbabwe’s sudden backpedal on comments made in the past that it would seek for dentist Walter Palmer extradition to charge him for killing Cecil The Lion. Zimbabwe’s Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri announced on Monday that the dentist who beheaded and skinned Cecil would no longer be charged. In fact, he can come back to Zimbabwe as tourist.
“We approached the police and then the prosecutor general, and it turned out that Palmer came to Zimbabwe because all the papers were in order,” Muchinguri-Kashiri said in a press conference as reported by Reuters. She said Palmer is welcome again in Zimbabwe but will no longer be issued a hunter’s permit to hunt again.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force was shocked about the announcement. The group is now planning to pursue their own legal action against Palmer in the U.S. Speaking with the Voice of America, the conservation group director, Johnny Rodriguez, said the Zimbabwe government should present its proof and proper documentation saying that Palmer’s murder of Cecil is within the bounds of law.
“I’m quite shocked to actually hear that. How come all of a sudden (they are saying they are not going to seek his extradition). When initially when they investigated they said not all was in order,” Rodriquez said perplexed. He upheld that Palmer and his hunting group had illegally killed Cecil the lion by luring it to go outside the national park into a place where it can be legally killed.
“I believe there’s something wrong with the justice system,” Rodriquez concluded.