Father Guyo Waqo Malley (right), Mohammed Molu Bagajo and Aden Ibrahim Mohammed in a Nairobi court on August 20, 2013 during final submissions in a murder case in which they are charged with alongside others with killing Isiolo Catholic Diocese Bishop Lui
A priest on trial for the murder of Isiolo Catholic Diocese Bishop Luigi Locati had previously hinted he wanted the cleric killed, a court was told on Tuesday.
The reason, the court heard, was because the bishop prevented him from working at the local church mission.
Father Guyo Waqo Malley approached a confidant with whom he shared his frustrations and “credible information” that later linked him to the murder, a state counsel said.
“Salad Sora confirmed that the first accused person told him the Bishop was disturbing him and that he had prevented him from working at the mission and he should get for him a person who had a gun as he wanted to kill the bishop,” Ms Catherine Mwaniki told the trial court.
KILLING WAS PREMEDITATED
The state counsel urged the court to put father Guyo and five others on their defence saying the killing of the bishop on July 14, 2005 “was premeditated” and all the suspects jointly committed the offence.
She said that although the actual gun that was used was never recovered, there was sufficient evidence that a gun lent out by one of the suspects for “hunting an ostrich” was the one used to eliminate Locati.
Ms Mwaniki also added that there was overwhelming evidence on video tape and accompanying transcripts that were recorded on confessions the suspects made about the planning, individual roles and final execution of the murder.
However, defence lawyers faulted the prosecution’s case saying investigators over-relied on information from accomplices “who bought their freedom in exchange of false leads.”
Lawyer Ojwang’ Agina, defending Guyo, said crucial evidence had also been lost in the case as a police officer identified as Chief inspector Lumbasi allegedly retrieved certain letters from the residence the suspect died in.
“The alleged bad blood alluded to by the state counsel was never a concern, the prosecuting counsel said the murder was to ensure access to donor funds, but no evidence was produced to this effect,” Mr Agina said and urged court to set the suspect free.
The court heard that the gun used in the incident was provided by the fourth suspect on trial after a friend told him they wanted to hunt for an ostrich.
“A friend came to borrow his gun to go hunting for an ostrich which he had been made to believe had valuable medicinal oil. He gave out the gun which was returned a week later.
He did not know that the ostrich meant killing of the bishop... there was nothing to make the accused believe that it was the bishop,” the lawyer said. The case was adjourned to September 30.