Kenyan police have arrested the first secretary of the Venezuelan Embassy in Kenya, the Venezuelan Dwight Sagaray, and five Kenyan employees of the embassy residence, for their suspected involvement in the death by strangling of the mission's charge d'affaires, Olga Fonseca.

In a telephone conversation with Efe, the administrative assistant at the Venezuelan Embassy in Kenya, Jose Miguel Reyes, said Saturday that the six suspects have been held in custody since the day before at the police station in Gigiri, an upscale neighborhood on Nairobi's north side where the Venezuelan mission is located.

According to Reyes, those under arrest will remain at the police station at least until Monday, when they are due to appear in court.

The administrative assistant said that an autopsy has been done on the body at a Nairobi morgue, but "no results will be known for a couple of weeks."

Reyes also said that police "continue gathering evidence" in hopes of solving the case, which Kenyan security forces consider "a murder."

The embassy employee did not know when Fonseca's body would be sent back to South America, something that must be determined by other Venezuelan authorities in the area.

"No other Venezuelan ambassadors" serving in other African countries "have come here yet. They will come in the next few days," Reyes said, adding that a police agent and a Foreign Ministry official will soon be on their way from Venezuela.

Fonseca's death occurred shortly after Kenyan personnel at the Venezuelan Embassy filed a complaint with the Diplomatic Police Unit in Gigiri because Fonseca had supposedly fired them, the Daily Nation newspaper said.

Those employees, according to the daily, were presumably dismissed for refusing to retract their accusations of sexual harassment against Fonseca's predecessor, Gerardo Carrillo Silva.

Reyes told Efe, on the other hand, that the servants "were never fired," they just "refused to acknowledge Fonseca's authority" but kept working at the residence anyway.

Fonseca, 57, was found strangled to death Friday inside the official residence of the Venezuelan Embassy in the exclusive Runda neighborhood on the north side of Nairobi.

The Latin American diplomat had arrived in the Kenyan capital on July 15 to take charge of her country's embassy. EFE