Monday, August 23, 2010

Catholics call for renewed investigation of priest's murder

Catholics call for renewed investigation of priest's murder
Friday, August 20, 2010
By Spero News

The Catholic Church in Kenya has made fresh calls ensure the re-investigation of Fr. Anthony John Kaiser murder case, with aims to bring his alleged killers to book.

This was said as the Church, the family and friends of the late converged for the 10th anniversary of his death on August 19

The late Catholic priest, who had worked among the Kenyan people for 35 years, was found dead on the eve of August 24, 2000 along the busy Nairobi-Nakuru highway, about 90 kilometres from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Presiding over the memorial Mass to mark the occasion at Nairobi's Holy Family Minor Basilica, Archbishop Zachaeus Okoth of Kisumu Archdiocese and current Chair for the Bishops' Commission for justice and peace, observed that it was depressing to note that ten years down the line, we are yet to know who killed the priest,”"As we converge here today to mark the tenth anniversary on the late Fr. Kaiser, we pray hard that one day, the truth will be told as to who killed our beloved brother," Okoth said

The memorial service, whose theme was: Kenyans appeal to end impunity, was attended by bishops, clergy, religious men and women, the laity, family members of Fr. Kaiser's family as well as friends.

Archbishop Okoth further observed that although one of the Kenya Courts wound up the inquest on the late Fr. Kaiser in August 1, 2007 had recommended for immediate institution of fresh investigation by police in order to fill the blanks and to plug all the loopholes by the court in order to determine conclusively the identity of those who killed Fr. Kaiser, no substantial action had been taken in regards to these findings and recommendations.”

In a statement, read to the congregation by the regional superior of Mill Hill Missionary congregation in Kenya, Fr Liam Cummins, Superior General of the Mill Hill congregation worldwide, Fr Anthony Chantry said it was distressing and disturbing to see that for the last three years, there has been no evident progress in bringing to justice those responsible for Fr. Kaiser's murder.

"On behalf of those who continue to seek justice for Fr. Kaiser, I call upon the Government of Kenya to do all in its power to find, try and punish those responsible for Fr. Kaiser’s murder. To this end, I strongly urge the Government of the United States of America to ensure that FBI co-operate fully in these new investigations," he stressed.

Kaiser's family member, Christopher thanked both the Church, the Mill Hill missionaries, where the late Fr. Kaiser was a member and Kenyan catholic bishops for their commitment on the issue.

He hoped that one day, the truth will come out as to who killed the late Fr. Kaiser.

Mr. Christopher is a nephew to the late Fr. Kaiser. He was accompanied by Kaiser's niece, Susan.

The late Fr Kaiser was vocal about the ethnic evictions in the Rift Valley that finally cost him his life. He was a critic of former President Daniel Moi's regime and came into the national limelight in the 90s when he vigorously resisted the eviction of the internally displaced people who camped at Maela in Narok, following their eviction from Enoosupukia in the country’s spacious Rift Valley region.

The church rejected the findings of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) that the missionary had committed suicide. More than 80 witnesses had testified and at least 240 exhibits examined at the judicial inquest into his death that was opened on August 15, 2003 and wound up in August 1, 2007.

Source: CISA

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