The battle pitting catholic nuns and a priest over St Mary’s hospital has taken a new twist.
A new case is filed before the High Court over the Sh153 million dispute.
The Assumption Sisters of Nairobi want the High Court to reinstate a criminal case against doctor and priest Dr William Charles Fryda.
In the case filed before Justice Jairus Ngaah, the nuns say the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) illegally terminated the charges without their involvement.
According to them, they own St Mary’s hospital and therefore, Dr Fryda and driver Seth Manera should continue being tried in a criminal court over the Sh153 million, which was central to the case before the magistrate’s court.
The nuns also want the High Court to re-order for freezing of the money after the lower court lifted the release of the same.
According to them, the lower court issued orders in a case that was not before it.
Sister Maria Felix Mwikali swore an affidavit to support the case. Mwikali, a trustee of the Assumption Sisters congregation, says the priest’s trial was to proceed on January 10, 2023. However, the file was placed before the magistrate on the 9th, a day before the case was closed without their participation.
“The respondents have illegally purported to terminate the proceedings and to also release funds in a matter not before the court. The conduct of the respondents and interested parties smacks of collusion with the aim of defeating the course of justice,” Mwikali said.
They accuse the magistrate’s court of “manipulating” the list of the cases that were to appear on the 10th in order to allegedly terminate the criminal case.
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A noble idea between Fryda and the nuns to assist the indigent has turned into a full-blown and unending war. After the nuns took over the hospital, they went ahead to lodge a criminal complaint against Fryda.
He faced five charges; conspiracy to commit a felony, money laundering, forgery, altering a false document and conspiracy to defraud.
Mwikali was the star witness in the trial. The court heard that the general council also elected Mwikali as a trustee.
The criminal claim was that on September 17, 2013, he allegedly forged papers to change the signatories of St Mary’s hospital account at Prime Bank and between December 20, 2017, and January 2018 conspired to steal Sh153 million together with other persons not before the court.
From Mwikali’s testimony, it appears that the split between the sister and the priest started after the priest allegedly wrote a manual called catholic mission hospital.
She said they felt betrayed by Fryda’s claim that he was the founder of St. Mary’s. At the same time, she said the document had things that were unpleasant to their eyes.
In the High Court case, Justice Jairus Ngaah ordered that the case should be transferred to the anti-corruption division of the High Court.