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Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2005, 07:26 GMT 08:26 UK
Sacking in Kenya aristocrat case
Thomas Cholmondeley
Thomas Cholmondeley could have faced the death penalty if convicted
Kenya's director of public prosecutions has been sacked after being involved in the dropping of a high-profile murder charge against an aristocrat.

Philip Murgor told a court last week there was insufficient evidence to proceed against the great-grandson of Lord Delamere, Thomas Cholmondeley.

Mr Cholmondeley had denied murdering a Maasai game warden on his farm.

Angry protests followed the termination of the case, with Maasai warriors threatening to invade the farm.

A government source told AFP news agency Mr Murgor had been fired because he "acted unprofessionally".

But Mr Murgor said he believed his dismissal was connected to his stance against corruption.

He said expressions of outrage over the abandonment of the case against Mr Cholmondeley had been stage-managed.

Security

Mr Cholmondeley, 37, admits shooting Maasai ranger Samson Ole Sisina, but denies murder. He says he was acting in self defence because he because he says he mistook the warden for an armed robber.

Mr Cholmondeley is heir to a massive 100,000-acre farm in the Rift Valley region, acquired by his great-grandfather, who was one of Kenya's first white settlers.

The case has highlighted the security fears of landowners and the resentment of the local Maasai population in the Rift Valley region.

A Maasai lawyer, Keriako Tobiko, has been appointed to replace Mr Murgor.

He is expected to review the case.

Amid rumours that Mr Cholmondeley may now try to leave the country, a British pilot intending to land at the farm has been arrested for entering Kenyan airspace illegally.

An inquest into how the warden died is expected to begin next week.




SEE ALSO
Country profile: Kenya
09 Apr 05 |  Country profiles



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