Kenyan priest, four others sentenced to death for murder of Italian Bishop
A priest and four others have been sentenced to death after they were found guilty of killing a catholic bishop in Isiolo.
Father Guyo Waqo, Mohamed Molu, Aden Ibrahim, Mahati Halake and Roba Bariche were sentenced to death after court found them guilty of murder.
Justice Fred Ochieng however stayed the sentencing until the four appeal within 14 days.
They were charged in 2005 with the murder of the Bishop of the Isiolo Catholic Diocese Luigi Locati, who was gunned down on July 14, 2005.
One of the six people charged with the murder was acquitted him on Tuesday.
In acquitting Wario, Justice Ochieng said it was important to know whether he was aware of the plan by Father Guyo to execute the bishop when he hired out a gun to him.
But he said he did not know that the gun was going to be used for execution.
Wario said he was told that the gun was going to be used for hunting Ostriches.
The judge said it was clear that Wario was not at the scene of crime when the attack took place, but he did not deny supplying the gun.
He said Wario was tricked into hiring out the gun.
Justice Ochieng found the role played by Guyo was to plan, finance and recruit people to kill Locati.
Guyo facilitated the acquisition of the guns, transported the killers and kept them in his house until the day of the attack.
Ochieng said there was sufficient evidence that Molu attended one of the planning meetings and attacked the bishop with a rungu.
The judge found that Aden bought a G3 rifle, which he was found with at the scene of crime.
“You accosted the bishop together with others and fired from the rifle at the scene of crime during the attack. Mahati Halake also took part in planning and acquisition of firearm and you received money from Father Guyo. On the night of the attack, you were armed with a pistol. You also accosted the watchman guarding the bishop’s house,” Ochieng said.
The judge found that Roba was directly involved in murder as he was the link between Guyo and the others in planning and executing the death.
He said Roba, who acquired a carbine rifle, was present at the night of the attack.
Ochieng said the four accosted and threatened the bishop’s watchman and fired at him.
He said it does not matter that on the day Locati was killed, Guyo did not personally shoot at him.
Ochieng said it was enough that he acted in concert to kill the bishop because they were aiding and abetting the offence.
“You are as guilty as the person who inflicted the injuries,” he told Guyo.
The judge said if the killers’ intention was to rob Locati, they should have waited for him to enter the house, but the fact that they ambushed him while armed shows they wanted to only cause him grievous harm, which they succeeded in.
During the trial, investigating officer Mohammed Amin said he established that there was bad blood between Father Guyo and Locati because the bishop had given instructions that Guyo desist from soliciting donor funds.
This apparently did not go down well with Guyo.
Evidence on record stated that guns were bought at Sh3,000 and concealed in a sack of charcoal.
They were ferried in a mission vehicle.
Amin said the killers used gloves to conceal their fingerprints to avoid leaving and traces.
“But when Roba was arrested, he had hidden scars on his hands and chest. He told the officer he sustained the injuries when he was jumping over the barbed wired fence at the scene of crime,” he said.