Father Kizito freed over sex claims

May 27, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 27 – Catholic priest Father Renato Kizito was set free by the police on Friday following sexual abuse claims, after his DNA samples failed to match those taken from his accuser.

His lawyer Cliff Ombetta said police had no choice but to free the missionary, for lack of evidence to charge him in the latest sex abuse allegation against him.

“In comparison to the tests done on Fr Kizito yesterday (Thursday) and the evidence they had on the alleged complainant nothing could tally. He is being released while investigations are still going on,” he said.

Mr Ombetta said once police complete their investigations, the priest would take legal action against the accuser.

He said Fr Kizito suffered shame and a cold night ‘sleeping on the floor of a cell’.

The advocate also criticised the manner in which the police handled the allegation saying they should have exercised caution to protect his client.

“It was not necessary for police to go there (his residence) with guns and threats. So for them to harass them to that extent (is unfair)."

Mr Ombetta is now alleging that the priest is being framed as part of a wider scheme to push him out of the management of the Koinonia Community – a charitable organisation that Fr Kizito has been running in Kenya.

He claims some directors were using people to lodge complaints of sexual assault against the priest, in order for them to wrestle control of the Sh3 billion estate from him.

Some members of the Koinonia Community who were present at the press briefing also expressed displeasure with the manner in which police searched and arrested Fr Kizito.

Meanwhile, the priest’s accuser Collins Ochieng maintained his story on Friday, telling Capital News that Father Kizito sexually abused him but using his fingers.

Fr Kizito who had been in police custody since Thursday, was earlier on Friday morning taken to the Kibera Law Courts but no charges were preferred against him.

He was driven to the Criminal Investigations Department Headquarters on Kiambu Road, where he was released by the police at around 12.30pm.

The renowned priest had been accused by his 26-year-old male secretary of sodomising him on Tuesday night within Riruta area of Dagoretti.

Police detained the priest as they conducted forensic tests to build a case against him.

The 49-year-old Italian priest of the Comboni Missionaries appeared shocked and did not speak to journalists and when Capital News asked him why he was at the station, he only replied "I don\’t know."

It was the second time the priest was being implicated in a sexual abuse case in the last two years though the cases were thrown out due to lack of evidence.

Fr Kizito is the founder of Koinonia Community which runs several children\’s homes and other educational activities in the country.

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