The son of a Highland aristocrat has been cleared of smuggling 100kg of cocaine into Kenya.
Sugar trader Jack Alexander Wolf Marrian, the son of Lady Emma Clare Campbell of Cawdor and grandson to the sixth earl of Cawdor, was charged three years ago.
He was accused of smuggling £4million of the drug in a shipment of sugar in the Kenyan port of Mombasa in July 2016.
Marrian’s colleague Roy Mwanthi was also charged.
They always maintained their innocence and the prosecution applied to terminate the case for lack of evidence, claiming they had no knowledge of the drugs.
Despite this, a magistrate in a lower court six weeks ago had refused to drop the charges.
But yesterday High Court Judge Luka Kimaru officially dismissed the case and acquitted both men, saying: “The court was in essence directing a prosecution against accused persons against the wish of the prosecution, without a complainant and a prosecutor.”
Marrian, in a message on WhatApp, said: “Hugely relieved that after so long the prosecution has had the courage to do the right thing.”
The defence team had presented a letter from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stating that Marrian, 33, could have had no knowledge that the drugs were stashed in a shipment which was en route from Brazil.
Marrian, who had been described as a director of Mshale Uganda Ltd, grew up in Kenya, where his grandfather was a minister in the colonial government ahead of independence in 1963.
Mombasa is a favoured port of entry for drug traffickers in east Africa, where the smuggling of cocaine, heroin, cannabis and amphetamine-type stimulants is on the rise, according to the United Nations.
Corruption amongst law enforcement and customs officials make the region a convenient transit point for drug trafficking to the rest of the continent, Europe, and north America.
Mr Marrian was born into the Clan Campbell of Cawdor, but grew up in Nairobi.
He attended one of Kenya’s leading international schools at the same time as the cyclist Chris Froome.