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Kenyan court slaps ex-diplomat with 20-year jail sentence

How jealousy drove diplomat to murder his ambassador days after she was posted to Nairobi

Former Venezuelan diplomat Dwight Sagaray

Former Venezuelan diplomat Dwight Sagaray has been handed a 20-year prison sentence by a Kenyan court for the murder of Olga Fonseca, Venezuela's acting ambassador to Kenya in 2012.

The court found Sagaray guilty along with three Kenyan nationals earlier this year, marking the end of a long and complex trial.

Fonseca's life was tragically cut short just two weeks after her arrival in Nairobi.

She was posted to Kenya following the sudden departure of the previous ambassador amidst allegations of sexual harassment by his domestic staff.

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Her body was discovered in her bedroom, strangled to death. The murder sent shockwaves through the diplomatic community in Kenya and prompted a comprehensive review of security measures for foreign envoys.

Sagaray, who held the position of first secretary at the Venezuelan embassy was incharge of the embassy before the deceased was posted.

He was initially protected by diplomatic immunity. However, following the heinous crime, his immunity was revoked, paving the way for his trial and subsequent conviction.

The court determined that Sagaray harbored animosity towards Fonseca due to her appointment, as he desired to maintain his authority over the embassy.

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In a verdict delivered by Judge Roselyn Korir in July, Sagaray and the three Kenyan co-conspirators were each sentenced to 20 years behind bars.

The term would begin retroactively from January, the month of their conviction.

Additionally, a fifth accused individual, Kipng’eno Kirui Chelogoi, was acquitted due to insufficient evidence linking him to the other suspects or the crime scene.

The court also emphasized that one suspect remained at large, warranting an ongoing search and the preservation of his arrest warrant.

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The trial faced numerous delays over the years due to diplomatic disputes regarding jurisdiction.

There was a prolonged debate as to whether Sagaray should be tried in Kenya or extradited to Venezuela.

Eventually, the Kenyan government decided to conduct the trial in Nairobi, bringing a resolution to the legal impasse.

The murder of Ambassador Olga Fonseca served as a wakeup call for the diplomatic community in Kenya.

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In its aftermath, security arrangements for foreign envoys were reevaluated.

The aim was to ensure the safety and well-being of diplomats serving in the country, enhancing measures to prevent such tragic incidents in the future.

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