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Saturday, March 25, 2017
Kenya: FrKaiser enquiry ruling delayed to August
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 The long-awaited ruling on the murder of Father John Kaiser, an American missionary who expected yesterday, has been postponed to August. Principal Magistrate, Mrs Maureen Odero who closed the hearing on June 12 said yesterday she needed more time. Mrs Odero apologized to the assembled congregation, who included local Bishop Peter Kairu of Nakuru Diocese, members of the Mill Hill religious congregation and nuns. She said she realized a bit too late that she needed more time to go through the many documents that have come out of the commission of inquiry, where a record of 111 witnesses testified and 251 exhibits adduced. Speaking to journalists at the Nairobi's High Court, the family lawyer of the later Father Kaiser, Mbuthi Gathenji said he personally felt the time given by the magistrate for the ruling was "too short". "Judging from the amount of literature adduced from the commission hearings, one month or there about would hardly be enough a time", he said. The commission instituted by the Kenyan Government at the request of the Catholic Bishops in Kenya (Kenya Episcopal Conference, KEC) in 2003 has taken nearly four years to complete the inquiry. One of the most outstanding features of the inquiry was the failure of the American FBI to come and testify even after they have been summoned for several times. In his submission, the family and church lawyer, Mr Gethinji had expressed his concern over the issue, describing them as "vital component in the commission". He added that apart from the need for the FBI to come and testify in person, they were in possession of vital evidence - the ballistic report, in which they had concluded that Fr Kaiser had killed himself". Father Kaiser, who often spoke out against government abuses, was found dead, with bullet wounds to the back of his head, along a highway southwest of Nairobi died in August 24, 2000,. The first police officers on the scene thought he had been murdered, but in 2001 the FBI ruled his death a suicide, and the Kenyan government agreed. The Kenyan bishops' conference almost immediately dismissed the FBI results and questioned why it considered the information of only the government pathologist, not the three additional doctors it had sent to the scene to collect evidence. The bishops said that, based on ballistics reports, suicide was a physical impossibility. The bishops said that if Father Kaiser committed suicide he "involved himself in rather difficult contortions while in the process." After 24 years in office, Moi lost the presidential election in December 2002, and several months later the Kenyan government ordered the inquest. Father Kaiser, a native of Perham, Minnesota., who was 67 at the time of his death, had worked in Kenya for 36 years. His advocacy for human rights led to his expulsion from the country in 1999, but the government revoked its decision after an outcry in the Kenyan media and appeals from the country's bishops.
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