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Indignation at FBI suggestion of suicide in US Kenya missionary's death

Church and humanitarian spokespeople in Kenya have reacted with indignation following an FBI agent's suggestion that US missionary and human rights defender Fr John Kaiser committed suicide last August.

FBI agent Thomas Carey claimed there is no proof that the priest was shot, underlining that the missionary had undergone treatment for manic-depression on two occasions.

The missionary had criticised two state ministers at the Akiwumi Enquiry Commission into the 1993 ethnic-tribal clashes, in which some 2000 Kikuyu tribal people were killed.

Fr Kaiser was regarded as a strenuous defender of human rights. Two years ago he commenced a battle to bring State minister Julius ole Sunkuli to court for repeated sexual abuse against young high-school students.

A leading figure in the Catholic Church (who requested anonymity) told the Rome-based MISNA missionary news agency that "by confirming the hypothesis of suicide, always maintained by the government of Nairobi, the American FBI agents merely demonstrate a lack of political willingness to punish corrupt men linked to the regime of President Daniel Arap Moi".