British sugar trader, Jack Marrian, has said he is “disappointed” after his £4.5 million (Ksh598 million) cocaine smuggling trial was adjourned by prosecutors.
Mr Marrian, who is the grandson of the sixth Earl Cawdor, was arrested in July following the discovery in Mombasa of almost 100kg of the class A drug in a sugar shipment from Brazil.
His trial was due to begin today, but Nairobi prosecutors requested an adjournment on the grounds that tests on the sugar consignment had not been completed.
Prosecutor Mungai Warui on Monday told Kibera Senior resident magistrate Derrick Kuto that the case could not proceed because the report was not ready.
“It was a huge consignment and the report had to take some time to be ready. The accused were charged on the basis of a preliminary report that indicated the substance was cocaine”, he explained while applying for the case to be adjourned.
The defence unsuccessfully opposed the application for adjournment, claiming it appeared there was no case against the accused.
Speaking outside the court, Mr Marrian, who denies the allegation, said:
“[The adjournment] was not unexpected but it is deeply disappointing not to progress and finalise this issue.”
His lawyer, Sheetal Kapila added: “It was an over-enthusiastic arrest and now [the prosecution] is facing the consequences of it.”
Gordon Ogado, who is defending Marrian’s co-accused, Roy Mwanthi, said: “There is no evidence, they are just trying to buy time.”
Mr Marrian’s defence have claimed their client is the victim of a so-called “rip on / rip off” drug smuggling scam involving drugs being hidden inside shipments which belong to innocent parties which are then removed at ports before they reach their final destination.
“The drugs came from Brazil. We have to know how it left Brazil and see who is involved. We cannot proceed with the case until that is investigated.” – Prosecutor Mungai Warui.
The court also allowed an application to release the passports of the accused that were being held by court and the trial has been adjourned until November 9.