AN American businessman, Sammy Almahri tries to cover his face as he enters the Kisutu Resident Magistrate?s Court under tight security in Dar es Salaam on Friday, where he was charged with the murder of 28-year old Nadine Aburas at the Future Inn Hotel in Cardiff, UK recently. (Photo by Mohamed Mambo)

He was arraigned before Resident Magistrate Janeth Kaluyende and was not allowed to enter plea to the charge because his case will be tried by the High Court. Almahri was taken to remand until February 5, as the charges he is facing are not up for bail.

The prosecution?s team led by Senior State Attorney Prosper Mwangamila and Hamidu Mwanga informed the court that investigations into the matter have not been completed.

Almahri is alleged to have murdered a 28-year old Nadine Aburas at the Future Inn Hotel in Cardiff, UK, before fleeing to Tanzania. The deceased?s body was discovered by the hotel?s staff on New Year Eve.

Advocate Cuthbert Tenga, for the accused person, told the court that his client was sick and his properties, including a bank account, have been seized by the police and he has no other means of providing necessities to members of his family.

The advocate, therefore, requested the court to order the police to unfreeze the bank account so that he could have access to it and enable him to provide for his family and for his medical care.

However, the magistrate ruled against the request since the question of medication could be handled by the prison authorities and the matter involving the bank account would be dealt with by the High Court, which is vested with powers to hear the case.

Local police and those from Interpol apprehended the businessman recently in connection with the murder in Iringa and would remain in custody, awaiting extradition to the UK, the Acting Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Mr Diwani Athumani, was quoted as saying.

The acting DCI said that from intelligence reports gathered on the suspect, detectives traced the whereabouts of Almahri across the country, as far as Mbeya. ?We decided to trace his movements from when he landed in the country.

The intelligence reports that we had gathered on the suspect showed that he was headed for Mbeya. We traced him there but he had already left,? he explained. The detectives then followed the suspect?s movements to Iringa where he was arrested while hiding in a forest area, with all indications that he was trying to escape.

?We really had to go back and forth tracing his movements but we finally arrested him in Iringa where he was hiding alone in a forest area?it looked like he was trying to escape,? he explained.

Mr Athumani expressed appreciation to the public for their cooperation in apprehending the suspected murderer, stressing that such cooperation will help the nation fight crime in the future. He also commended all those involved in the investigation and the two-week long surveillance of the suspected murder.

According to British media, South Wales Police Detective Superintendent Paul Hurley expressed appreciation for the professional co-operation they received from the Tanzanian police.

?Almahri fled to Tanzania and we have worked closely with local police authorities to trace and arrest him. Officers from the South Wales Police Major Crime Unit in the UK were sent to Tanzania to work with local police officers.

?Together they were able to trace Almahri?s movements over hundreds of kilometres across the country,? he was quoted as saying. He said the investigation has been swift much as it was complex, involving law enforcement agencies from three continents.

By FAUSTINE KAPAMA, Tanzania Daily News

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