The trial of two Malaysian men accused of poaching elephants in Indonesia opened Friday in Umat in West Kalimantan.
Prosecutors told the court that the suspects had killed more than 20 elephants in the area of Papua, where Indonesian national Antli Widodo is accused of being the master poacher. Authorities say the suspects bought pieces of ivory from other traders in Bali.
They also say the suspects spent time in Bali where the 54-year-old accused, Muhammad Ali Alfugani, initially applied for a passport but was turned down because his fingerprints didn’t match the DNA database used for the system.
Antli’s older brother, Muhammad Wibson Widodo, is the principal poacher, authorities say.
The defendants face charges of illegal killing of wild animals and illegal possession of ivory and firearm. Alfugani and Ali are also accused of wildlife trafficking.
They face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.
This is the second time two people have been accused of elephant poaching in Indonesian national parks. In 2015, Daeng Sayanti had to flee the country, allegedly because the authorities destroyed a kilogram of ivory he brought to Indonesia.
He later died in a forest while trying to escape on a motorbike.
Daeng faced up to seven years in prison and a fine of $85,000 for the elephant poaching charges.
The BBC contributed to this report.
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