Judge denies bail to Venezuelan ex diplomat charged with murder in Kenya
Defense lawyers argued that since the Venezuelan Government failed to waive diplomatic immunity expressly, the arrest infringes the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
Sagaray appeared in court on Monday following his indictment on August 6 in connection with the murder of Fonseca, who was found strangled on July 27, Efe reported.
Judge Nicholas Ombija upheld the arguments of the Public Prosecution Office that the defendant held a "high-rank position" in the diplomatic delegation and that if he was released, "he could have an influence on the evidence to be provided by key witnesses who were under his supervision." Consequently, Ombija denied the bail application.
The justice agreed with the prosecution that if Sagaray was released he could help his intimate friend Muhammed Ahmed Hassan, who is also accused of murder in connection with the case and remains at large.
Stephen Ligunya, the defense attorney of Sagaray, contended that the prosecution failed to provide evidence that the defendant may interfere with the evidence to be provided by the 25 witnesses of the case.
Ligunya lamented both that the court denied the bail application and that "Sagaray has been denied the right to appeal" against the court decision.
"The only thing we can do is file another bail application. That is something we will do," the defense lawyer said.
The judge decided that the trial hearings are to begin on February 18-19, but a hearing on the withdrawal of Sagaray's diplomatic immunity will be held next November 12.
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."