NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 4 – A priest and four other people have been found guilty of murdering Isiolo Catholic Bishop Luigi Locati 10 years ago.
Trial Judge Fred Ochieng said Father Guyo Waqo and his accomplices were guilty of murdering the Italian-born bishop on 14 July, 2005 at the Isiolo Diocese.
“Evidence before the court shows the roles they each played to execute the actual plan to kill the deceased,” he ruled.
Justice Ochieng who presided over the case found that Fr Waqo, Mohammed Bagajo, Mahati Ali Halake, Aden Mohammed and Roba Bariche jointly planned and caused the death of the bishop.
Based on the evidence presented before the court, the judge deemed that the five were directly responsible for the death of the 67-year old bishop who founded the Isiolo Diocese about four decades ago.
According to the judge, the prosecution provided adequate evidence that clearly linked the accused persons at the scene of crime armed with a G3 rifle and accosted the bishop together with his watchman on his way to his house.
The court said it had evidence to establish that Fr Waqo provided financial support to purchase the gun that was used to execute the bishop.
“I find that the priest planned, financed, facilitated acquisition of the gun and recruited his co accused persons to execute the plan to kill the bishop,” he declared.
However, a sixth accused Diqa Wario was acquitted due to lack of efficient evidence to link him to the murder.
According to the Judge, Wario supplied the gun but did not participate in the actual execution of the priest.
“It is clear from evidence that he was not at the scene of crime but supplied the gun for hunting of ostriches as explained to him by the fifth accused and only realised days later that he had been tricked,” he said.
Fr Guyo and the four accused persons will know their fate on Thursday when the court will sentence them after judge Ochieng’ gave defence lawyers time to prepare their mitigation.
Last year the court placed the accused persons on their defence after the court ruled that they had a case to answer based on the evidence of 37 prosecution witnesses.
The suspects had denied committing the offence.