Kenya: Diplomat suspected in Venezuelan death


Associated Press

Posted on July 30, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 30 at 12:31 PM

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A diplomat is being investigated in connection with the murder of the acting Venezuelan ambassador to Kenya, police said Monday, as prosecutors asked the court to allow authorities to keep the diplomat in police custody beyond the 24-hour limit for further investigations.

Prosecutor Tabitha Ouya asked the court to grant police 14 days to conclude investigations on Dwight Sagaray, the first secretary at Venezuela's embassy in Kenya. Sagaray is being investigated over the murder of the charge d'affaires and acting ambassador Olga Fonseca. He was arrested over the weekend after Venezuela waived his diplomatic immunity, Ouya said.

High Court Judge Florence Muchemi said she would rule on the extension application Tuesday.

Fonseca was found strangled in the embassy's official residence Friday morning. She reported to Kenya on July 15 to replace former ambassador Gerardo Carillo-Silva.

Carillo-Silva left his posting in Kenya after facing allegations of sexual harassment by Kenyan male workers from the embassy residence.

Separately, two security guards were charged in court with failing to stop Fonseca's murder. The two, Eliud Kimutai and Bernard Owino, denied the charge and were asked by trial Magistrate Esther Maina to pay bail and produce a bond in order to be released before the hearing of the case next month.

The motive behind Fonseca's killing is still not clear.

A lawyer last week said Fonseca came to Kenya in July to replace Carrillo-Silva, who had fled the country after three male workers at the ambassador's residence filed a complaint with the police accusing him of sexual harassment

Ngure Mbugua last week said he became a lawyer for the workers who accused Carrillo-Silva of sexual harassment after police did not act against the complaints. He said he pressed Kenya's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ask the Venezuelan government to waive the diplomat's immunity against prosecution so that the envoy could be arrested and charged in Kenya or Venezuela.

Mbugua said Carrillo-Silva fled before the process was complete. He said after Fonseca arrived the workers told him that she demanded that the workers withdraw their sexual abuse complaints against her predecessor.