The son of a Highland aristocrat charged with trafficking cocaine in Kenya has said he is pleased American agents have called for documents to be released which may prove his innocence.
Jack Marrian, whose mother is Lady Emma Campbell of Cawdor, is on trial over the alleged drug offences.
Mr Marrian faces up to 30 years in an African jail if found guilty after a criminal gang hid almost 100kg (220 lb) of drugs in a shipment of sugar belonging to his company without his knowledge, according to his lawyer.
The cocaine, worth £4.5 million, was stashed in a shipping container in Brazil before being loaded on to the MSC Positano.
The vessel later docked in Valencia before going on to Africa with the drugs still on board.
The Spanish authorities alerted a US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) team in Nairobi, saying that the criminals had originally intended to offload the cocaine in Valencia.
It was alleged the recipient of the container in Mombasa would have no knowledge that it was being used to transport drugs and that there was no connection to Kenya.
The drugs were found by police when the Positano docked in Mombasa on July 27.
The DEA in Nairobi passed a detailed tip-off to Kenyan police in which the US agents made clear their belief there was no involvement by Jack Marrian – the grandson of the late 6th Earl of Cawdor – or any Kenyan connection.
A DEA spokesman in Washington is reported to have said: “We strongly believe that documents drawn up by our investigator in Nairobi should urgently be made available to Jack Marrian and his defence.
“Spanish police had informed our investigator that there was no Kenyan connection to the shipment of cocaine which arrived in Mombasa docks on July 27.
“A second memo containing follow-up reports from Brazilian and Spanish police was also passed on.
“We expected the prosecution at Jack Marrian’s trial to release these two documents to the defence but that has not happened.”
Two weeks ago Mr Marrian’s lawyer, Andrew Wandabwa, asked a magistrate to order the prosecution to hand over relevant documents, yet the vital memos from the DEA were deemed “not relevant to the prosecution’s case”.
Mr Marrian said: “A lot of evil has been done by some bad people in connection with this incident.
“When good people start to do the right thing, this nightmare will come to an end. I am pleased that finally some pressure has been brought to bear on those good people who have sat on the sidelines for so long.”
The trial in Nairobi is due to resume next month.