The first secretary at the Venezuelan Embassy entered a plea of not guilty here Monday at his arraignment on charges he murdered the mission's charge d'affaires, Olga Fonseca.

The prosecution presented the charges against Dwight Sagaray at a hearing presided over by Judge Florence Muchemi in the Superior Court in Nairobi, Capital FM reported.

Also facing charges in the murder is Muhammed Ahmed Muhammed Hassan, a very close friend of Sagaray, although his whereabouts are presently unknown.

Sagaray appeared before the judge on Monday after the expiration of the six-day period granted to the police last week so that they could complete their investigation of Fonseca's murder. The charge d'affaires was found strangled on July 27 in her official residence.

Muchemi ordered Sagaray, whose diplomatic immunity has been withdrawn, to remain in police custody while his attorneys are preparing his bail request.

Investigators suspect that the 57-year-old Fonseca could have been murdered on the night of July 26 after throwing a party at her residence.

The incident occurred after Kenyan personnel at the official Venezuelan residence presented a complaint for wrongful dismissal, according to the Daily Nation newspaper.

They claimed Fonseca fired them refusing to withdraw their accusations of sexual harassment against her predecessor, Gerardo Carrillo Silva.

Fonseca, who also represented Venezuela before U.N. agencies in Kenya, as well as in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, had arrived in Nairobi on July 15. EFE