Kenya: British Aristocrat Was Well When We Arrested Him, Says Officer

A police officer charged with the murder of British aristocrat Alexander Monson on Tuesday told court that the suspect was well when he booked him at Diani Police Station with possession of bhang.

Sergeant Naftali Chege, attached to the Tourist Police Unit, said the Briton was locked up in the cells by another officer. Monson, 28, later died in custody.

Four officers - Chege, Charles Wang'ombe Munyiri, Baraka Bulima and John Pamba - are charged with his murder on May 19, 2012 at Diani location, Msambweni constituency, Kwale County.

Monson, who was the son of the 12th Baron Monson and heir to the family estate in the UK, moved to Kenya in 2008 to live with his mother Hilary Monson.

Mr Chege told the court that when they arrested Monson, he was well and there was no confrontation throughout the period.

Testifying before Justice Eric Ogola, the accused said he was not aware of what had transpired at a bar Monson was in before the arrest.

"After arresting him, we took him to the station. We never knew what had transpired before we arrested him," Mr Chege told the court during cross examination by Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Alexander Muteti.

Mr Chege said he did not have a police notebook at the time of arrest.

"I did not make an inventory (on items seized) when we arrested him," he said.

He took the bhang he had allegedly recovered from the suspect and other exhibits to the TPU office. "At the report office, we searched him and did not find any alcohol," he added.

"So many issues"

Asked by the prosecutor whether he was aware that there were drugs in Monson's pockets, the witness said the case had "so many issues".

"Hii ni kesi iko na kona nyingi nyingi (this is a case with so many issues). I later learnt that his phone got lost at the station," Mr Chege said.

The officer said on the night of May 18-19, 2012, they had been assigned patrol duties along Diani beach.

While around Tandoori Restaurant, a bouncer told them that someone was smoking bhang in the establishment. "He had tried to force him out of the restaurant but he had refused, so he asked us to arrest him," said Mr Chege.

As the officers approached the bar, they saw the suspect walking to his vehicle.

"When I approached the car, I saw him smoking bhang as he reversed from the parking. I took the piece he was smoking. It was our exhibit," said Mr Chege.

He then called a senior colleague, who helped in arresting the Briton before they took him to the station.

The accused have been put on their defence after the court said it was satisfied that the prosecution had made a case against them.

The prosecution closed its case by calling 32 witnesses, among them Monson's mother and an investigations officer from the Independent Policing and Oversight Authority.

Hearing continues.

pmuyanga@ke.nationmedia.com

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