Zimbabwe’s Prosecutor General, Johannes Tomana, says the country has not yet made a formal request to the United States for the extradition of its citizen linked to the killing of a famous lion, Cecil, in Hwange district, Matabeleland North province, last month.
Tomana says the extradition procedure is cumbersome and has to be followed according to provisions of an Extradition Treaty signed by the U.S and Zimbabwe, which seeks to net suspected criminals like narcotics traffickers and terrorists.
He told VOA Studio 7 it takes time to extradite people like American, Dr. Walter Palmer, for prosecution in Zimbabwe.
The extradition will be a test case for the treaty signed by the two nations in 1997.
Article One of the Treaty obligates the two countries to "extradite to the other, pursuant to the provisions of the Treaty, any person charged with or convicted of an extraditable offense in the requesting state."
Another provision of the Treaty also stipulates that it is designed to enhance the ability of the United States to prosecute serious offenders like narcotics traffickers and terrorists.
Tomana’s remarks come at a time when about 1,2 million people have signed a petition on a website, Care2 Petitions, calling for justice for Cecil the lion and an end to trophy hunting.
The organization’s founder and chief executive, Randy Paynter, said the petition has generated a lot of attention on animal conservation.
He noted that it will soon be handed to President Robert Mugabe.