Kenya: bishops urge participation at Fr John Kaiser inquest

 The Kenya Episcopal Conference (KEC) on Friday called for anybody with any information that might help to solve the mystery of Fr John Kaiser's death, to pass it on to the Church, and be ready and courageous enough to stand as witnesses when the inquest opens. The full text of the bishops' statement is given below. The body of the late Fr John Anthony Kaiser was found on the morning of August 24, 2000, at the roadside of the Nakuru-Nairobi road, in Naivasha, 75 kilometres away from Nairobi. The mysterious and suspicious manner of his death, and the ensuing public outcry, prompted the Kenya Government to invite the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to find out how he had died. In their report dated April 19, 2003, the FBI stated that their findings indicated that he had committed suicide by shooting himself in the head, using his own shotgun. The Catholic Church condemned and rejected the FBI report, and called upon the Kenya Government to institute a public inquest into his death. This request was accepted only in 2003, two years later, following sustained public pressure. In a statement made on April 2, 2003, the Attorney General Hon. Amos Wako "directed that the investigation file be placed before the Chief Magistrate with a view of holding a public inquest." In his statement, the Attorney General indicated that the general public, including the Kenya Episcopal Conference (KEC), doubted the suicide theory. The KEC notes with appreciation that the investigation file into Fr Kaiser's death was handed over to the Senior Principal Magistrate in charge of Naivasha Law Courts, Martin Muya on Thursday, June 5, 2003. The Magistrate stated that there will be a mention on August 11, 2003, to set the date when the inquest commences. We appeal to anybody with any information whatsoever, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant, that may lead to the truth concerning the death of Fr Kaiser, to get in touch with the nearest Catholic bishop, or with the Kenya Catholic Secretariat. All information received will be treated with utmost respect and confidentiality. Let us continue praying for all witnesses, the police, the judicial officers and all people of good will, who will be involved in this inquest, to have courage, commitment, honesty and integrity, so that the truth may triumph. Rev Fr Vincent Wambugu, Secretary General, Kenya Episcopal Conference Source: CISA

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