By Kurian Musa
Nairobi, Kenya: The defense closed its submissions Thursday in a case in which six suspects are charged with the murder of Catholic Bishop Luigi Locati.
The accused, former Catholic priest Father Guyo Waqo Malley, Mohammed Molu Bagajo, Aden Ibrahim Mohamed, Mahati Ali Halake, Diqa Wario and Roba Balla Bariche, have denied the charge.
They appeared before Justice Fred Ochieng and denied being directly linked to the murder.
They claimed they were coerced into admitting the offence by the police after being tortured.
- 1 Two suspects in Kilimani murder to take plea today
- 2 Baringo man hacks granny to death then starts slashing spree
- 3 Man, 40, kills wife and two children then hangs himself
- 4 Murder suspects told to deposit Sh45 million bond
In video evidence produced in court, the accused claimed they were falsely identified at a parade after a torture ordeal that made them confess falsely so as to end the pain.
In 2005, the suspects were charged with the death of the 76-year-old cleric in a case where High Court judge Weldon Korir testified.
The case has been heard by several judges.
The accused further said that being arraigned in court does not mean they committed murder. They said a gun produced in court as the one used to commit the crime does not link them to the murder.
“The motive behind the killing has not been established,” said their lawyer, Onchari Ombongi.
The prosecutor recanted the claims of the accused, saying the six freely and voluntarily participated in the investigations.
“They all looked relaxed, comfortable and free. A beaten person would not look like that,” prosecutor Jackton Ochieng’ told the court.
Despite not being arrested at the scene of the crime, the prosecution said all exhibits – the gun and the video – produced linked them to the killing.
“Their self-serving confessions and a G3 magazine found at the crime scene that linked Mohamed and Bariche are evidence,” said the prosecutor.
Moreover, Bariche who worked with a community-based organisation dealing with family affairs and potato business was away on the alleged date of the crime, lawyer Onchari Ombongi submitted.
The late bishop is alleged to have asked Guyo to stop soliciting for donor funds and this did not go down well with him.