Kenya: Venezuelan ambassador murdered

… and the murder may be related to the drug trade.

Venezuelan Charged in Diplomat’s Killing in Kenya

NAIROBI—Kenyan authorities on Monday charged the first secretary of Venezuela’s embassy with the murder of that country’s acting ambassador to Kenya in what police believe was a killing motivated by a battle over embassy leadership.

Dwight Sagaray was charged in court with the murder of acting Venezuelan Ambassador Olga Fonseca. He pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutor Tabitha Ouya also charged Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, Sagaray’s friend and an alleged co-conspirator who has gone into hiding, with Ms. Fonseca’s murder.

Mr. Ouya said that on the night of July 26 to 27 the two suspects strangled Fonseca. The prosecutor said others were also involved in the killing, though he didn’t name them.

Judge Florence Muchemi issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Hassan and remanded Mr. Sagaray into custody until his bail application is heard. Venezuelan officials previously agreed to waive Mr. Sagaray’s diplomatic immunity so that he could be charged.

Ms. Fonseca was found strangled in the embassy’s official residence. She reported to Kenya on July 15 to replace former Ambassador Gerardo Carillo Silva, who left his posting in Kenya and soon faced allegations of sexual harassment by Kenyan male workers from the embassy residence.

Police said they believe the motive behind Ms. Fonseca’s killing was a battle for leadership of the embassy after the ambassador’s departure.

However, Narcotics drugs cited in envoy’s murder (emphasis added)

Police are pursuing clues linking drug traffickers to the murder of Venezuela acting ambassador Olga Fonseca who was found strangled in her residence on July 27. Multiple sources said they had received reports indicating that some official or officials at the embassy had been using their diplomatic privileges to traffic in drugs.

They said that changes introduced by the envoy soon after she arrived in Kenya on July 15 may have displeased some of these officials who no longer had access to the diplomatic parcels. Fonseca replaced ambassador Gerardo Carillo- Silva who left the country in May soon after he was accused of sexual harassment by some of his staff at the embassy residence.

According to the police, the envoy’s decision reportedly caused friction in the embassy and may have contributed to her murder. The sources who did not want to be identified however said the investigators were wary of aggressively pursuing the drug trafficking allegations for fear of causing a diplomatic row between Kenya and Venezuela.

According to the information they had received, the police linked some of the embassy staff, a few locals and some foreigners in drug trafficking. The sources said the drugs were being brought into the country as diplomatic parcels which, under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, are not subjected to security checks.

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