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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May 2005, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Kenyan aristocrat freed from jail
Thomas Cholmondeley
Thomas Cholmondeley was accused of shooting a ranger
An aristocrat who is a prominent Kenyan farmer has been released from jail after a murder charge was dropped.

Thomas Cholmondeley, 37, son of the 5th Baron Delamere, has been held in a maximum security prison since 19 April.

He denied gunning down one of three undercover wardens as they tried to detain some of his employees, whom they had found skinning a dead buffalo.

The public prosecuter told a court in Nakuru on Tuesday that there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

When charged, the judge said Mr Cholmondeley should be treated like other murder suspects.

If convicted of murdering the warden, Mr Cholmondeley could have faced the death sentence.

The grandson of Lord Delamere, one of Kenya's first white settlers, is expected to be released from prison on Wednesday.

An inquiry into how the warden died on the 30,000 hectare farm is now expected to begin.

The case sent shockwaves through Kenya's central Rift Valley region, highlighting the security fears of landowners and the resentment of the local Maasai population.

Country profile: Kenya
09 Apr 05 |  Country profiles

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