Venezuelan diplomat held in embassy murder investigation

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 30, 2012 9:12 AM
Venezuelan diplomat held in embassy murder investigation

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan police have arrested a Venezuelan diplomat over the killing of the country's charges d'affaires in her official residence, the High Court heard on Monday.

Venezuela's acting ambassador and charge d'affaires, Olga Fonseca, was found dead in her official residence on Friday. Police said she was strangled, though the motive is unclear.

Dwight Sagaray, First Secretary at the Venezuelan Embassy, was arrested on Saturday and Kenyan police on Monday made a court application to hold him in custody for another 14 days.

"The suspect was arrested by the police after his diplomatic immunity was waived," deputy prosecutor Tabitha Ouya told the courtroom.

Sagaray, wearing a yellow and green baseball jacket, appeared composed as Venezuelan Embassy officials observed the proceedings.

"The investigation is incomplete and (we) require more time to secure crucial evidence and apprehend other suspects," Ouya said.

Sagaray was arrested along with five Kenyans who worked at the embassy but it was unclear whether the local suspects have been charged or released.

Kenyan Foreign Ministry officials said local staff at the residence had complained to its Diplomatic Police Unit after the new envoy fired them.

Fonseca had sacked them after they refused to retract sexual harassment claims against the former head of the Venezuelan embassy, the employees said.

Judge Florence Muchemi will rule on Tuesday whether to remand Sagaray in custody or release him on bail.

Post-mortem results and DNA analysis have not yet reached police investigators, according to court documents.

(Reporting By Humphrey Malalo; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by James Macharia and Angus MacSwan)