Venezuela diplomat charged in Kenya with murder of envoy

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A senior Venezuelan diplomat in Kenya was charged in court with the murder of the Latin American nation’s acting head of mission at her official residence in an upmarket area of the capital Nairobi.

Olga Fonseca was found strangled in her bedroom late last month and less than two weeks into her posting, which followed the abrupt departure of the previous ambassador after he was accused by his domestic staff of sexual harassment.

Dwight Sagaray, the first secretary at the embassy, was remanded in custody by Judge Florence Muchemi to await his trial.

He initially appeared in court last week but was not charged, and spent the past week in police custody while investigations were being completed.

The prosecution told the court at his first appearance that his diplomatic immunity has been waived.

Two Kenyan security guards at Fonseca’s compound were last week charged with failing to use any reasonable means to stop her murder. They both pleaded not guilty.

Judge Muchemi also issued a warrant of arrest for Sagaray’s friend, Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Hassan, who police sought last week in connection with Fonseca’s death.

Detectives in the case told Reuters last week that Fonseca, whom officials in Caracas termed a brilliant diplomat, was most likely killed in a power struggle at the embassy over key posts.

They said that Hassan, a Kenyan man of Somali descent, had in the past “masqueraded as a Venezuelan embassy official” and was known to have used Sagaray’s official vehicle.

Workers at Fonseca’s residence who had complained of sexual harassment by the previous ambassador had accused her of firing them for refusing to retract the charges they had lodged with diplomatic police.