Monday, December 04, 2006

Urgent appeal to FBI




December 1, 2006

Since August 2003, a Public Inquest has been taking place in a Nairobi Court into the violent death of the American-born Fr. John Anthony Kaiser MHM. Father Kaiser was a tireless worker for peace and justice who had spent 35 years in Kenya. On 24th August 2000, his body was found in the Naivasha area, about 40 miles west of Nairobi. On October 24th, 2000, the United States Congress adopted Resolution 146, requesting “independent and thorough investigations” into the death of this great and courageous Mill Hill Missionary. On the 26th August 2000, FBI teams became involved in the investigations, resulting in the 80 page Final Report, dated 19th April 2001, from the FBI Washington Field Office. After the release of the FBI Report, the late Senator Wellstone from Minnesota, together with the Kaiser family, the Kenyan Episcopal Conference, the Mill Hill Missionaries and the Kenyan people demanded a Public Inquest into the death of the late priest. We are aware that the FBI has been requested by the Kenyan Government to testify, but so far without result.

As the General Council of the Mill Hill Missionaries, we want justice to be seen to be done, and the whole truth of Father Kaiser’s death to be told. On behalf of all the Mill Hill Missionaries in the world, we therefore fully support the recent public appeal of the family members of Father Kaiser, urging the Federal Bureau of Investigation to return immediately the remaining exhibits, and to ensure as soon as possible that all the FBI officers who investigated the late Father Kaiser’s death and Dr. Di Maio, the Chief Medical Examiner of Bexar County (San Antonio, Texas), come to testify in the Inquest currently being held in a Nairobi Court before the Senior Principal Magistrate, Mrs. Maureen Odero.

We deeply regret the fact that the FBI at this stage is still retaining exhibits, thus depriving the Court of crucial evidence. Witnesses have testified that they gave statements and exhibits to FBI Agents, but some of these statements and exhibits are not in the official file given to the Counsels as the Police Inquiry File. Under the Kenyan Evidence Act, documents cannot be introduced in court, unless those who have written them are present and can be cross-examined by the interested parties. It is therefore of paramount importance that the FBI officers appear in Court to give evidence, produce their report and elaborate on their findings.

In the interests of justice, we strongly urge you to ensure that the FBI cooperate fully in the Public Inquest as the inquiry reaches its final stage. Lack of full cooperation by the FBI can only fuel the theory of involvement by the FBI in a cover up.

Finding the real cause of death of Father Kaiser is a matter of urgency, not only to his family and his fellow Mill Hill Missionaries, but to the whole Kenyan people, and to the people of the United States as well.

Yours sincerely,

Rev. Anthony Chantry MHM
General Superior

Rev. Brendan Mulhall MHM
Vicar General

Rev. Michael Corcoran MHM
General Councillor

Br. Jos Boerkamp MHM
General Councillor

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