Capital FM (Nairobi)

30 July 2012

Kenya: Top Venezuela Official in Court Over Envoy's Death

The Nairobi High Court has denied an application by the Venezuela aeputy ambassador to Kenya, Dwight Sagaray, to be released on bail. According to the ... ( Resource: Venezuelan Diplomat Denied Bail in Kenya

Nairobi — The First Secretary at the Venezuelan Embassy in Nairobi Dwight Sagaray appeared in court on Monday over the killing of ambassador Olga Fonseca, but was not required to plead to the charge.

Police applied to the court to be allowed to hold him for further 14 days to enable them finalise investigations into the murder.

Deputy Prosecution Counsel Tabitha Ouya said investigators needed to interrogate more witnesses and were also awaiting the results of DNA samples taken at the crime scene.

Police also said they needed time to conduct an age and mental assessment of the suspect as well as enrich their list of possible witnesses and suspects.

"Investigations being carried out are incomplete and would therefore require more time to secure crucial evidence and apprehend more suspects," Ouya told the court, reading an affidavit from a police corporal handling the matter at the Gigiri Divisional headquarters.

Ouya submitted before court that Sagaray held a senior position at the embassy and was likely to intimidate witnesses, most of whom are employees of the embassy.

Lawyer Jotham Arwa representing Sagaray objected to the application saying that the prosecution intended to use unfair means to collect evidence and had not satisfied the court how Sagaray was going to intimidate witnesses.

He argued that the State was going against the right of the accused person by continuing to hold him without charge beyond statutory stipulations.

Arwa pleaded with the court to give his client a reasonable cash bail so that the prosecution can conclude its investigations.

"Detaining the suspect will not ease the burden of the prosecution to acquire the information that it needed before charging him," Arwa argued.

He informed the court that Sagaray was a student at the University of Nairobi and that his studies will be affected if he is detained.

He gave the court an undertaking that the suspect is willing to cooperate and will not interfere with investigations.

"We are told that they need to get the results of the post-mortem; the detention of my client will not make getting of the report easier. These are just mere allegations and the State has not even demonstrated how he is going to intimidate the witnesses," he said.

Ouya and Arwa differed on the circumstances of Sagaray's arrest Arwa insisting he was arrested on Friday.

Ouya said the State had respected the rights of the accused person producing him in court at the earliest opportunity after he was arrested on Saturday.

She quoted section 49(f) (iii) which says that: "An arrested person has the right to be brought before a court as soon as reasonably possible, but not later than 24 hours after being arrested; or if the 24 hours ends outside ordinary court hours, or on a day that is not an ordinary court day, the end of the next court day."

High Court Judge Florence Muchemi will rule on Tuesday whether to grant the extension sought by the police, or order his release on bail.

Fonseca who was found dead on Friday is suspected to have been murdered on Thursday night after a party in her house.

Meanwhile, two Guards who manned the gate of the slain Venezuelan ambassador Olga Fonseca were also charged on Monday afternoon with committing a felony for falling to prevent the envoys death.

The two Bernard Owino and Eliud Kimutai who appeared before Chief magistrate Esther Maina however denied the charge and were released on a cash bail of Sh100, 000.

"On the night of the 26th and 27th of July 2012 at Runda within the house of Olga Fonseca in Gigiri within Nairobi county, being security guards employed by Securex Limited, knowing that a person was designed to commit a felony; murder, failed to use all reasonable means to prevent the murder of Olga Fonseca," read the charge sheet.

The case will be heard on the August 27.

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