NAIROBI - 12 June 2007 - 305 words

Kenya: Fr Kaiser inquest winds up

Francis Njuguna

The inquest into the death of Father John Anthony Kaiser, who was found dead on August 24, 2000 has wound up here today.

The inquest, which opened on August 15, 2003, had called a total of 111 witnesses.

The inquest was requested by the local church in Kenya, who alongside Fr Kaiser's family and his Mill Hill congregation were dissatisfied with the American FBI, who had investigated the case concluding that Father Kaiser had killed himself.

In his submission, family lawyer, Mbuthi Gethinji observed that Fr Kaiser's involvement in matters pertaining to human rights, some of them touching to the nerve centre of the government of the day, could effectively have led to his murder.

He categorically ruled out the suicide theory, saying: "from all the forensic, expert, oral and physical evidence produced in court there is no basis to hold that Father Kaiser committed suicide.

"And that from the circumstantial evidence produced in the court Father Kaiser was murdered by third parties.

"And that from the evidence adduced in the court it is an equivocal finding that Father Kaiser did not act in any way to self-destruct his own life and that the circumstantial evidence adduced in court irresistibly points to the conspiracy by Hon Julius Sunkuli (former powerful minister in President Daniel Arap Moi's Government) and other persons to kill Father Kaiser."

The family lawyer's submission also pointed out that motives for killing Fr Kaiser existed. He cited the priest's intervention in alleged rape cases involving Trans Mara girls and in particular Anne Naiguran Sawoyo and Florence; his testimony against Hon Sunkuli in the Akiwumi Commission and his threat to move this case the to International Court of Justice in the Hague.

The principal magistrate, Mrs Maureen Odero of Nairobi High Court said she will deliver the judgement on July 18.

© Independent Catholic News 2007

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