Hillary Martin Monson (left), mother to the late Alexander Monson and a friend follow the proceedings during the Inquest into the cause of the death of Alexander Monson (her late son) a British Tourist, at the Mombasa Court in Mombasa County on Tuesday 20th June 2017. Alexander was found dead at Diani Police Station in Kwale County in the year 2012. Photo/Kelvin Karani
A police officer who aided the arrest in Diani of British aristocrat Alexander Monson, who died in police custody, has contradicted official claims that the deceased was smoking marijuana when he was arrested in a club.
William Serem’s testimony to the judicial inquest investigating the death also contradicts a previous claim by fellow policeman Corporal Naftali Chege, who testified last year that Mr Monson was arrested while smoking a roll of marijuana. Now Constable Serem claims he heard of the marijuana claim from Mr Chege.
Monson was the son of Lord Nicholas Monson and heir to the Monson baronetcy, and had been in Kenya for a week before he was arrested by police and detained at Diani Police Station where he fell gravely ill. He was taken to hospital where he died chained to a bed under armed police guard.
A postmortem established that he died from heavy trauma to the back of the head, suspected to have been caused by a gun butt. There was also injury to his scrotum.
Police claimed they found banned drugs and prescription medicine on his body, a claim denounced by the older Monson as a fabrication designed to “defame my son in death” and cover up the death. Monson alleges his son died from torture or medical negligence.
“I did not see Alexander smoke bhang. I did not see my colleague Corporal Naftali Chege snatch the cannabis from his mouth. What I know is that Corporal Chege told me that he found Alexander smoking bhang,”said Serem.
He spoke before Senior Principal Magistrate Richard Odenyo yesterday, when the inquest into the cause death resumed in Mombasa.
In a previous testimony, Monson accused Chege of concealing the actual cause of death. He claimed his son was murdered and considered Chege and other officers as prime suspects. But last year, Chege denied the claim and insisted Alexander might have died from drug intoxication.