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Kenyan police question 9 suspects for death of Venezuelan diplomat

07-30-2012 00:47 BJT

NAIROBI, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police have enhanced their investigations into the death of a top Venezuelan diplomat in Nairobi, questioning nine suspects as probe enters its final stretch.

Sources close to the investigations told Xinhua on Sunday that First Secretary at the Venezuela embassy in Nairobi Dwight Ashrubal Saragay who had leadership wrangles with the deceased, Olga Fonseca Gimenez, the Charge D'Affairs that was acting as ambassador, is among the suspects.

"The first secretary has recorded a statement with the police. The deceased's driver Kevin Odhiambo has also been interrogated over the death of his boss," a senior police official who did not want to be named said on Sunday.

The police suspected that the 57-year-old Jimenez was murdered but did not give further details, saying ongoing investigations would reveal the motive behind her death.

Saragay was grilled after the authorities in the East African nation lifted his diplomatic impunity as he is being treated as a suspect in the murder case.

The police source said two senior officials from Venezuela are in the country to push for speedy investigations into the death of the diplomat. The officials arrived in Nairobi on Saturday.

The Venezuelan envoy to Kenya was found dead at her official residence in Nairobi on Friday and police said she was murdered by strangulation.

Sources at the Venezuela's embassy said the late diplomat was found tied with wires around her feet and neck and refused to elaborate, saying the ongoing investigations would unravel more details.

Police said progress has been made in the investigations and suspects may be arraigned in court this week. Already several suspects have been arrested in various places within Nairobi to unravel the motive behind the envoy's death.

Gimenez arrived in Nairobi on July 15 to replace Ambassador Gerardo Carillo Silva who had been accused by his employees of sexual harassment. The employees were sacked last week for reportedly refusing to retract their accusations of sexual impropriety against the ambassador.

The new envoy had not been given a police escort nor was her residence guarded by police and she had been staying at a hotel and had only moved to the ambassador's residence two days before her death.

Kenya's ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement issued on Friday evening that it was shocked to receive the death earlier in the day.

"The ministry said she was found dead at 10:30 a.m. local time (0730 GMT) at the official residence of the Ambassador of Venezuela where she was residing. Her death was reported to the Diplomatic Police by the Venezuelan Embassy," it said.

The ministry has warned that they will spare no efforts to establish the cause of the death.

 

Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: Xinhua

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