Nairobi Court Finds Four Guilty of Killing Venezuelan Ambassador Olga Fonsesca

January 26, 2023

Four men, including a former first secretary at the Venezuelan embassy in Kenya, have been convicted for the murder of the late Venezuelan envoy Olga Fonseca.

Justice Roselyn Korir, sitting at the High Court in Nairobi, found the former First Secretary, Dwight Sagaray, and his co-accused  Ahmed Omindo, Alex Sifuna Wanyonyi and Moses Kiprotich Kalya guilty of murder.

Fonseca was found murdered in her Runda residence in Nairobi on July 26, 2012. This was just less than two weeks after she arrived in Kenya to head the diplomatic mission.

Olga Fonseca was set to replace former ambassador Gerardo Carillo Silva, who was facing allegations of sexual harassment by male workers at the embassy residence.

Her body was found lying on her bed with a wire cord around her neck, hands and legs. The killers had tried to make it look like a suicide but pathologists established she was manually strangled.

Investigations led to the arrest of prime suspect Dwight Sagaray, who was charged alongside Ahmed Omindo, Alex Sifuna Wanyonyi, Moses Kiprotich Kalya and Kipng’eno Kirui Chelogoi.

A sixth suspect, Mohamed Ahmed Hassan, remains at large as the trial proceeded in his absence.

On Wednesday, January 25, Justice Korir said the court established common intention as well as malice forethought for the murder of the late Fonseca.

(Left t Right) Moses Kiprotich, Alex Sifuna, Ahmed Omindo, and Dwight Sagary at the Milimani Courts on January 25. They were found guilty of murdering Venezuela ambassador Olga Fonseca

The court established from evidence given by 37 prosecution witnesses and 39 exhibits that Dwight Sagaray was an accessory to the murder with a motive after establishing malice forethought through the hand of Mohammed Hassan.

Ahmed Omindo, Alex Sifuna Wanyonyi and Moses Kiprotich Kalya were found to have participated in a meeting in which a plot to kill the late Olga was hatched and failed to report it.

The court also found that the killers were paid Sh468,000 by Mohamed Ahmed Hassan.

The murder plot was hatched during 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 fifth accused – Kirui Chelogoi – was acquitted after the prosecution failed to prove his involvement in the planned murder. Chelogoi was a security guard and was found in possession of the ambassador’s mobile phone.

The court further ordered the arrest and trial of Mohammed who was mentioned severally in the case.

Justice Korir noted that Mohammed Hassan was a nephew to Yusuf Haji, who was a senior government official at the time.

“Mr Hassan wielded power and was known to the government officials and staff of the embassy. He had shown Mr Sagaray photos of himself with Mr Yusuf Haji and former Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala. He was a well-connected individual with unlimited access to the embassy,” said the judge.

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

“From the evidence it is clear that the first accused (Mr Sagaray) resisted the taking of over of the Embassy by Ms Fonseca,” Justice Korir said.

Sentence hearing is scheduled for February 16th and 17th as the convicts are remanded at Industrial Prison.

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