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Defence closes argument in Bishop Luigi Locati murder case

By Kurian Musa | May 9th 2014 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

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.

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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.

G3 magazine

“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.

Bishop Luigi Locati murder
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