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 Fonseca's murder.
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 did not name them.
Judge Florence Muchemi issued an arrest warrant for Hassan and remanded Sagaray into custody until his bail application is heard. Venezuelan officials previously agreed to waive Sagaray's diplomatic immunity so that he could be charged.
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.
Former ambassador Carrillo told the Venezuelan newspaper Ultimas Noticias that five or six months after Saragary's arrival in Kenya in July 2010, the situation at the embassy grew tense because "he refused to recognize my authority."