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Mortuary worker charged with theft from Westgate bodies

The Daily Nation newspaper said the thief stole a gold watch on mobile phone from Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta nephew and jewelry from the man's fiancée.

Kenya mall shooting nairobi westgate 6 09 25 13Enlarge
(Uriel Sinai/AFP/Getty Images)

A worker at a Nairobi mortuary has been charged with stealing belongings from two bodies, including that of a relative of the president, brought in during the siege of the Westgate shopping mall, a report said Friday.

The Daily Nation newspaper said Rose Oyungu, 54, stole a gold watch and mobile telephone from the dead nephew of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, as well as gold jewelry from the man's fiancée.

Both of the victims died on the first day of last month's attack on the upmarket mall by Al-Qaeda-linked gunmen, which in total left at least 67 people dead.

"It is unfortunate that an African can steal from the dead," prosecutor Wycliffe Sifuna was quoted as telling a bail hearing in court on Thursday.

Defense lawyers managed to secure bail for the accused, a widowed mother-of-six. The case is due to go to trial on November 25.

The accusations against the woman come as Kenyan security forces are also facing allegations that troops looted the mall during and after the four-day siege.

Kenyan media reported widely on the ransacking of the shopping center, and security camera footage from the mall broadcast at the weekend showed soldiers carrying white plastic bags.

Shop owners -- including a top end jewelry store as well as others selling mobile telephones, watches, cameras, expensive suits and lingerie -- said their stores were completely looted.

On Tuesday the army chief said some goods were taken for safekeeping, and police responded to the media accusations by summoning two journalists for questioning -- although the summons was withdrawn following an outcry.