Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mutula lungs ‘had blood’

Doctors rule out heart attack as cause of Mutula's death
PHOTO | GIDEON MAUNDU Mombasa Resident Judge Maureen Odera signs a condolence book for Senator Mutula Kilonzo at the Mombasa Law Courts on May 3, 2013. A doctor has said pathologists who conducted the postmortem on Mr Kilonzo found his lungs “soaked in blood”.
PHOTO | GIDEON MAUNDU Mombasa Resident Judge Maureen Odera signs a condolence book for Senator Mutula Kilonzo at the Mombasa Law Courts on May 3, 2013. A doctor has said pathologists who conducted the postmortem on Mr Kilonzo found his lungs “soaked in blood”.
By VINCENT AGOYA vagoya@ke.nationmedia.com AND BOB ODALO dodalo@ke.nationmedia.com

Investigations into Senator Mutula Kilonzo’s death have ruled out a heart attack and have narrowed down to a likelihood of poisoning. A source close to the family and a doctor involved in the investigations said a postmortem found serious internal bleeding characteristic with poisoning.

“Massive internal bleeding and a finding that all his internal organs were intact is a pointer to the presence of a toxin,” a doctor who requested anonymity told the Nation.

Investigators now want to find out if Mr Kilonzo was killed by a toxic substance, and if so, whether it might be related to suicide, murder, accidental poisoning or even a snake bite.

According to the source, the first finding during postmortem was in the chest cavity where both lungs were found to be “soaked in blood”.

An examination of the body had revealed that both the arteries and the heart had not been ruptured as is normally the case when one suffers a heart attack, the source said.

Final findings

The postmortem examination was conducted by seven doctors, led by the chief government pathologist, Dr Johansen Oduor, at the Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi. British pathologist Calder Ian Maddison flew to Kenya at the family’s request and took part in the examination.

On Sunday, Dr Odour declined to comment on the latest developments, saying, the media should wait for the final findings.

“We agreed that we are not going to discuss our findings because it can create confusion. Just wait for the final results,” he said.

The new developments emerged as fresh reports indicated that detectives investigating the case are exploring the presence of a mysterious visitor at Mr Kilonzo’s Maanzoni home when he died on April 27. The visitor is said to have been questioned by detectives, but police have refused to comment on the matter and kept the identity of the visitor a closely-guarded secret.

On Sunday, forensic expert, Dr Geoffrey Mutuma, who at one time was Mr Kilonzo’s doctor, questioned the eight to 10 weeks period that pathologists say it will take to release the postmortem results.

Dr Mutuma said results should not take that long.

“It just prolongs the anxious moments that Kenyans are going to be subjected to,” he said.

From his experience as a pathologist, he said, he found it hard to understand why the forensic experts working on the body could want two months for something that can be done in 72 hours.

Last Tuesday, the seven doctors who took part in the postmortem said they had agreed on the preliminary findings and that results of further tests would be ready in eight to 10 weeks. They however, did not publicly release their preliminary findings.

On Saturday, fresh reports emerged that seemed to contradict earlier information that Mr Kilonzo was not seen alive after retiring to bed on the night of April 26.

According to the new reports, the Senator had woken up early and spent about 30 minutes in a swimming pool within his home. At that time, the unidentified visitor was in the house.

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