Kenya: State orders fresh enquiry into Fr Kaiser's mystery death

 Three weeks after a public inquest ruled that Mill Hill missionary Fr Anthony Kaiser did not commit suicide but was murdered, the government has ordered a fresh investigation into the mysterious death. Attorney General Amos Wako on Wednesday said he accepted the recommendations of the inquest court, which delivered its ruling on August 1. The AG instituted the inquest four years ago. The court rejected findings by the American Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) that Fr Kaiser, whose body was found on August 24, 2000, took his own life with his gun. The court concluded the missionary was murdered, although it could not identify the killers. Acting Nairobi Chief Magistrate Maureen Odero who presided over the inquest severely censured the police in their handling of the priest's death, saying they had done "no meaningful investigations." They "abdicated their responsibility as investigators." The inquest recommended that "the police immediately institute fresh and comprehensive investigations with a view to filling in all the gaps and with a view to positively identifying and bringing to book the killers of Fr Kaiser." Last Wednesday, the AG directed Police Commissioner Major General Mohammed Hussein Ali "to carry out expeditiously and comprehensively the further investigations as identified by the court and return the investigation file to me soonest for further directions." The court suggested that three witnesses who appeared before it be investigated more deeply, because their "evidence, demeanor and behaviour certainly raises eyebrows." The first is Fr Kaiser's close friend Francis Kantai, then catechist at Lolgorian Church. The court found Kantai's evidence "unreliable, evasive and contradictory." He did not attend his friend's burial, misled the FBI and admitted to having lied to Fr Kaiser. He also admitted to having engaged in arson attacks on the victims of tribal clashes Fr Kaiser was helping. The other two witnesses are Samuel Kortom and Joseph Kupasar, game rangers at Maasai Mara National Park who illegally detained a woman Fr Kaiser was helping to pursue rape charges against then powerful internal security minister Julius Sunkuli. The two rangers were relatives of Sunkuli, and there already was bad blood between Fr. Kaiser and the minister. The court exonerated Sunkuli for lack of evidence. At one time Kortom and Kupasar arrested and thoroughly beat up a man they suspected of being close to Fr Kaiser. "If they could assault and arrest a man merely because they believed that he was an associate of Fr Kaiser, one wonders what they would have been prepared to do to Fr Kaiser if they met him in person," the court said. Shortly before Fr Kaiser died, a firearm similar to his had disappeared from the Mara and was never recovered. Source: CISA

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