06 November 2014, The Tablet

Kenyan priest sentenced to death for murdering his bishop

A Kenyan Catholic priest and four other men have been sentenced to death for the murder of Luigi Locati, the bishop of Isiolo, in 2005.

However, the judge stayed the execution sentence so that the five can file an appeal within 14 days.

Fr Guyo Waqo Malley and four others, Mohammed Molu Bagajo, Adam Ibrahim Mohammed, Mahati Ali Halake and Diqa Wario Mahammed, were found guilty on Tuesday of planning and killing the 77-year-old Italian-born bishop in his diocese in Isiolo town. The bishop was gunned down as walked into his house on 14 July 2005. The four were arrested and charged later that year.

Judge Fred Ochieng said Malley planned, financed and recruited people to kill the bishop. The judge said Malley had spent KSH50,000 to fund the purchase of a G3 rifle. He had transported the killers and hidden them in his house. Malley told the court the KSH42,000 he had withdrawn were made for the purchase of desks.

Earlier, the police officer who investigated the case told the court of tensions between the bishop and priest over the control of church funds. Bishop Locati had ordered Fr Malley to stop from soliciting funds from donors, but the priest was angered by the directive.

One of the accused was set free on Tuesday because the judge said he did not know what the guns he hired out were going to be used for.

The Kenyan bishops have not commented on the sentence of Malley, who is suspended, but at the time of the priest's arrest the then-archbishop of Nairobi, Archbishop Raphael S. Ndingi Mwana’a Nzeki, said he hoped the law would take its own course.


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