, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – Police have arrested a prime suspect believed to have been involved in the murder of British gemstones dealer the late Campbell Bridges who was murdered in August last year.
The suspect was arrested on River Road in Nairobi, six months after the murder of Bridges who was attacked by a mob wielding spears and machetes near Voi town where he operated a multi-million business empire.
The 71-year-old Bridges was described by the international media as a "legend" in the gem industry having discovered Tsavorite in Kenya in the 1960’s.
“Police have been looking for him over the murder, and following crucial leads provided to us by a man who knew him very well, we were able to arrest him,” Central CID Chief Stanley Malinge said.
“He is in our custody but we are finalising arrangements to have him transferred to Voi where the crime was committed,” he told Capital News.
Soon after Bridges’ murder, three suspects were arrested and subsequently charged over the killing.
Police said at the time they were looking for some more suspects they believed participated in the murder.
At the Central Police station in Nairobi, we caught up with Mr Philip Siengo, the Chief Security officer of Bridges who escaped death narrowly during the August 2009 attack.
“I was with Bridges when he was killed, we were ambushed on our way from the police station where we had gone to report threats from a group of people but I managed to escape with injuries,” Mr Siengo who stills works at Bridges’ firm said.
Mr Siengo sustained head injuries in what he describes a ‘miracle’ escape.
“I know the people who attacked us very well, they are just locals and they had been threatening us and my boss. Even the suspect who is in custody was among them,” he said.
Mr Siengo called on the Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti and Attorney General Amos Wako to intervene and ensure the suspect arrested in Nairobi is charged in court because he feared some powerful individuals in government may interfere and have him released.
He said the suspect and others still at large had been threatening him since August when Bridges was killed and called on the police to accord him protection.