Monday, February 20, 2006

Court looking into priest's death to visit church house

Court looking into priest's death to visit church house

Story by NATION Reporter
Publication Date: 2/21/2006

A court inquiring into the death of Catholic priest John Anthony Kaiser will visit a church house where he spent his last evening.

It will then hear more evidence from a witness who interacted with the priest before his death in 2000.

The Mill Hill missionary was last seen at the house of the Ngong diocese bishop on August 23, 2000, only hours before he died.

His body was found at Morendat junction on the Nakuru-Naivasha road with part of the head blown off.

Suicide verdict

A team from the US Federal Bureau of Investigations, which joined the Kenyan detectives on August 25, concluded that Fr Kaiser, who headed the Lolgorian Catholic parish in Ngong, committed suicide.

But church leaders and human rights lobbyists rejected the report and pressed for an inquest.

The priest was at the Ngong diocese on the evening of August 23, 2000, looking anxious, tired and in fear of something, the diocese's vicar-general, Fr Francis Mwangi, told the inquest.

Fr Mwangi, the caretaker of the bishop's house, said Fr Kaiser told him that he wanted to rest and was directed to a guest room.

Took away blankets

But Fr Kaiser was in the room for less than an hour and drove out. He took away blankets, bed-sheets and a pillow, which were later found near his body the following morning.

The only other place where he is said to have been spotted that night was in Limuru, Kiambu, where he drove into a home and left after a short while.

Yesterday, former Nakuru CID boss Mary Kipchumba Ruara told the court that she first suspected the priest had been killed.

She said the investigations were then taken over by other officers. The inquest continues this afternoon.

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