AFRICANGLOBE – A British aristocrat’s son facing charges of trafficking $5.8-million worth of cocaine was bailed on Friday after a Kenyan judge rejected prosecutors’ attempts to keep him in custody.
Jack Marrian, 31, was arrested after police in the eastern port city of Mombasa on July 29 seized a 100kg stash of cocaine in a sugar consignment ordered by his employer Mshale Commodities.
Nairobi’s High Court upheld a lower court’s decision to free Marrian on condition of posting a bond of 70 million shillings ($690,600) with two Kenyan sureties, and surrendering his passport.
The judge said he was not convinced by arguments from Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions, who protested against the decision to bail Marrian on Monday given the severity of the alleged offence.
Also freed on bond was Kenyan co-accused Roy Francis Mwanthi, who faces similar charges.
Marrian was charged with drug trafficking on August 4 after an Interpol tip-off about the consignment and interrogation by a special team of US anti-narcotics agents and their Kenyan counterparts.
His case has caused a sensation in his native Britain, where the aristocratic background of his mother Lady Emma Clare Campbell of Cawdor and his attendance at top private schools, including the alma mater of Prince William’s wife Catherine, have caught the eye of the press.
His artist father David Marrian has said he has “no doubt” his son will be exonerated, adding he has the full support of his employers.
Mombasa on Africa’s east coast has long been used as a hub for drugs bound for Asia and Europe.
Marrian’s trial is due to open on October 3. If convicted he could face a life sentence.