Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Police chief speaks

I didn't seize women, police chief tells Kaiser probe

Story by NATION Reporter
Publication Date: 01/25/2006

An assistant commissioner of police yesterday denied forcibly removing two young women from the custody of a lobby group which had given them refuge from alleged sexual harassment.

The women, Ann Sowayo and Florence Mpayei, willingly left the premises owned by the Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya (Fida) after being persuaded by their mothers, Mr Skewer Mbogo told the inquest into the death of Catholic priest John Antony Kaiser.

They were later returned to their Trans Mara home, Mr Mbogo said of the September 5, 1999, incident.

Earlier that day, he said, the mothers of the two women went to his office at Kilimani police station in the company of a councillor and informed him that the women were being held by Fida against their will after leaving home two months earlier.

"They requested me to rescue their daughters from the place where they were being held against their will," Mr Mbogo told inquest magistrate Maureen Odero.

However, when the team arrived at the Fida staff house in Ngumo estate, they found the young women comfortable and there were no signs that they were prevented from leaving, Mr Mbogo said. The two took on their parents demanding to know why they had reported the matter to the police.

This confirmed to him that the parents and the civic leader had given him misleading reports.

Mr Mbogo, who was being questioned by State counsel James Mungai and the lawyer for the Catholic Church, Mr Mbuthi Gathenji, denied that he was under orders to remove the two young women from Fida custody.

Fr Kaiser was found dead at the Morendant junction on the Nakuru-Naivasha highway on the morning of August 24, 2000. His head had been blown off and a shotgun lay nearby.

The hearing continues this afternoon.

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