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New investigation of missionary's 'suicide'

A fresh inquest into the death of US-born priest has begun, two years after Kenyan attorney-general Amos Wako said an FBI report stating that Mill Hill missionary Fr John Kaiser had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound was "definitive".

Kaiser had been in Kenya for 35 years and had been involved in investigating and publicising alleged human rights abuses.

He was found dead on the side of a busy highway between Naivasha and the capital, Nairobi, on 24 August 2000, with a gunshot wound to the right side of his head. His shotgun was found nearby, and his utility vehicle 10 metres away in a ditch.

The following day, Wako wrote to then-US Ambassador Johnnie Carson requesting FBI help in investigating the death.

The first witness will be heard on Friday, and then the inquest will adjourn until the beginning of September to give investigtors time to summon witnesses, said senior magistrate Justine Kaburu.

Police chief inspector Ndolo Nzomo said he would call more than 100 witnesses, and Mbuthi Gathenji, representing Kaiser's family, said he would be calling witnesses as well.

Gathenji is also appearing on behalf of the Kenya Episcopal Conference, the assembly of the country's Roman Catholic bishops, and the Mill Hill Missionaries.

"We think Father Kaiser was murdered, and the only gift this government can give Kenyans, whom he tirelessly served, is to unearth the truth," said Sr Nuala Brangan, an Irish nun.


Kenyan bishops back fresh investigation of missionary's death (9/7/03)
Kenya nuncio skeptical of FBI conclusion on missionary death (28/8/02)
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)

12 Aug 2003