Court postpones sentencing of convicts in Venezuelan Ambassador Olga Fonseca’s murder

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 10 Mar, 2023 15:47 | 3 mins read
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Court gavel. PHOTO/Courtesy

The much-anticipated sentencing of Venezuelan diplomat Dwight Sagaray and three Kenyans convicted for the murder of the Venezuelan Ambassador Olga Fonseca has been postponed to March 31, 2023.

The sentencing was expected on Friday, March 10, but Judge Roselyn Korir pushed it to the new date after probation officers failed to file a victims impact report.

The judge granted the probation officers more time to get in touch with the Venezuela High Commissioner's office to help them record statements of the victims and file a report before the next court session.

Justice Korir however rejected a bid by Sagaray, the first secretary at the embassy to be released on bail pending sentencing.

While declining Sagaray bail application, the judge noted the murder charge against him is a capital offence punishable by death or life imprisonment after he was found guilty and convicted in January this year and once released he will absolutely abscord the court to face the harsh punishment of the offence.

Justice Korir ordered Sagaray to remain in a prison facility till the court passes its sentence in the matter.

On January 25,2023, in her lengthy judgement, Justice Korir said that the evidence against Sagaray and three Kenyans- Ahmed Omindo, Alex Sifuna and Moses Kiprotich Kalya was overwhelming that they conspired to kill Olga Fonseca, Latin American country’s acting ambassador 10 years ago at her residence in Runda estate in Nairobi county.

Olga was found murdered in her house and her body was found lying on her bed with a wire cord around her neck, hands and legs.

Olga, 57, was manually strangled to death on July 26 2012, less than two weeks after arriving in Kenya to head the diplomatic mission.

She replaced former ambassador Gerardo Silva who was facing allegations of sexual harassment by male workers from the embassy.

During the trial, one of the longest criminal trials in Kenya, it emerged that four convicted persons killed Olga as a result of a power tug of war between her and the administrator Sagaray over who was the ambassador of Venezuela.

The court found that the killers were paid Sh468,000 by a Kenyan named Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, who is still at large, to eliminate her.
The murder plot was executed after four meetings held in four different hotels in Nairobi - Garden square, Muthaiga Total Petrol station, Java Gigiri and Maggie's Pub at Kenol petrol station.

The meetings were between Hassan, Omido, Wanyonyi and Kalya, an ex-police officer who was set to join the US marines the following year

Though there was no evidence placing Omido, Wanyonyi and Kalya at the scene of crime in Runda, the court said they were involved in the plans

The killers had tied the body to her bed with a ligature that was around her neck in a bid to make it look like she died by suicide. However, pathologists told the court that she had been strangled to death.

Justice Korir found that the ambassador was killed by three unknown men led by Mohammed Ahmed Hassan, the mastermind who has never been arrested.

Mohammed and Sagaray were reportedly opposed to the posting of Ambassador Olga to Kenya.

Korir said the evidence produced in court by the prosecution demonstrated there was an outright conflict between Olga and Sagaray

That glaring conflict provided the motive to eliminate Olga.

The court was able to deduce the hostile and acrimonious relationship between the two through the evidence from the embassy staff.

"I have found their evidence to be credible. They narrated what they saw and experienced. They have no interest in siding with either party," said the Judge.

Employees at the embassy were confused as to who was in charge.

Justice Korir observed that Olga would from time to time complain about the living conditions and disrespect from the staff.

She also noted that the ensuing power struggle was evidenced by the withdrawal of embassy vehicles by Olga from Saragay

Olga had also wanted door locks at the chancery changed a few days before she was murdered.

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