1 August 2012

Kenya: Doctor Sought Over Envoy's Murder

A medical doctor and a known fixer within some of the diplomatic missions based in Nairobi, Muhammed Ahmed Mohammed Hassan reportedly told drivers of Venezuela envoy Olga Fonseca that she had been deported the night hours before she was found murdered.

Ahmed, whom police say is a person of interest in their investigations into the murder of the diplomat, reportedly summoned her two drivers to a city hotel where he told them to hand over the envoy's officials cars as she had left the country. Just a few hours later, the diplomat was found murdered.

Police have established that on the eve of the murder, Ahmed allegedly met the envoys two drivers-Francis Mwangi and Kevin Akodhe-at a city hotel where he took charge of the ambassador's car. He allegedly gave the drivers Sh2,000 each to take taxis home as he drove off in the ambassador's car. The three met at a hotel along Moi avenue, Nairobi with a man Ahmed claimed was an official with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Investigators have established that Ahmed used the car nearly the whole night before he drove to the ambassador's residence just before dawn. He parked the car in the compound and left with the keys.Police yesterday obtained a warrant of arrest for Ahmed. The embassy's First Secretary Dwight Sagary has appeared in court but was not charged with murder. He has been remanded in custody for six days as investigations continue.

Two security guards- Eliud Kimutai and Benerad Owino-who were on duty on the night of the murder were yesterday released on a Sh100,000 cash bail and a Sh500,000 surety after they denied charges of failing to stop the murder of the envoy. Their case will be heard on August 27. Fonseca had arrived to take up her new posting several weeks ago after the abrupt departure of her predecessor Gerardo Carrillo Silva who was accused of sexually harassing some workers at the residence.

Those investigating the murder want to know out how Ahmed came to be in possession of the ambassador's official car yet he was not an employee of the embassy or even a representative. Police sources intimated that Ahmed may have become embroiled in the leadership wrangles at the embassy pitting the newly appointed envoy and Sagary. They said Ahmed appeared to have sided with Sagary who is said to be his close friends and with whom they share a house. The police are following up clues that indicate that the leadership wrangles at the embassy may have resulted in the envoy's murder.

Last Friday police collected a bottle of Johnnie Walker whisky, which the diplomat and her suspected killer or killers could have shared just hours before her body was found in her bedroom at Runda. Also taken for analysis are bedsheets and clothes which were strewn in the bedroom. The investigators are also trying to establish the person or persons who used the envoy's cellphone to send a text message to an embassy employee saying she would not be going to the office as she was feeling tired. The text message never got to the intended recipient.

The police believe the text message was intended to conceal the murder or delay the discovery of the body. They also believe that Fonseca may have been murdered in her sitting room before she was dragged to the bedroom, where the noose was tied around her neck. While ordering Sagary to held at Gigiri police station for the six days, Justice Florence Muchemi said that should the state find sufficient evidence to charge him, he should be arraigned in court within the next seven days.

Sagary's lawyer, Jotham Arwa said his client been denied access to his relatives and had also been denied food for a day. Sagary's mobile phone and personal effects had also been confiscated by the police. The judge directed that these items be surrendered to Sagary as soon as the investigations are over.

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