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Kenya nuncio skeptical of FBI conclusion on missionary death

The papal nuncio in Kenya is questioning the FBI report that claimed the 2000 death of missionary Fr John Kaiser was a suicide.

Mourners who gathered on Saturday at a Mass in memory of the native Minnesotan believe that the 67-year-old priest, a vocal critic of the government, had been assassinated. They demanded a full investigation by authorities.

Fr Kaiser died on 24 August 2000, on the road to Nakuru, about 60 km west of Nairobi.

The Mass was celebrated in the location where Fr Kaiser died -- brutally slain by unidentified men, many believe. Among those attending were five local bishops, 20 priests, numerous faithful and the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Giovanni Tonucci, according to the MISNA missionary agency.

In late April, Kenya's bishops called for an inquest into the priest's death, saying that the FBI's theory of suicide caused by a state of depression, was flawed.

Archbishop Tonucci said the theory is unacceptable. "I do not believe; we do not believe," the nuncio said.

At the end of the Mass, the president of the Kenyan episcopal conference, Bishop John Njue, stressed that the people "have the right to know the truth on the case of Fr Kaiser" and that "there is the impression that somebody important has something to hide."

Outspoken US priest murdered (28/8/00)
Suspicions rise over US priest's murder (29/8/00)
Bishops seek justice for slain missionary (26/9/00)
Kenyan bishops suspect FBI investigation a cover-up (15/11/00)
Kenyan bishops repeat: missionary did not commit suicide (24/8/01)


28 Aug 2002