January 26, 2023

Kenyan court convicts Venezuelan ambassador of murder

By Biodun Busari

A Kenyan court on Wednesday found a Venezuelan diplomat, Dwight Sagaray guilty of killing the Latin American country’s acting ambassador 10 years ago at her residence in an upmarket Nairobi neighbourhood.

Reuters reported that Sagaray, the first secretary at the embassy, was found guilty of the July 2012 killing of Olga Fonseca, Judge Roselyn Korir said in her ruling.

The court also condemned three Kenyan nationals who had been charged alongside Sagaray, saying they were involved in a joint plot to carry out the murder.

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Another suspect who fled after the murder is still at large and the court said his arrest warrant should remain intact.

Sagaray could be prosecuted for the murder because he did not enjoy diplomatic immunity after Venezuela waived it following the crime, the court ruled.

Fonseca was found strangled in her bedroom less than two weeks into her posting to Nairobi, which followed the unexpected departure of the previous ambassador after he was accused by his domestic staff of sexual harassment.

The Venezuelan envoy, who had been managing the mission before the arrival of Fonseca, was infuriated by her presence since he wanted to continue overseeing the embassy, the court found.

He intended to be the main beneficiary of the crime, Korir said, adding there was evidence he had tried to interfere with Fonseca’s ability to take over as the head of the embassy, before she was killed.

Sagaray and his co-accused will be sentenced at a later date, the judge said.