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Kenyan catholic priest sentenced to death for killing a bishop

November 06, 2014, 21:48 UTC+3

77-year-old Italian bishop was killed in 2005 in his church in Isiolo

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© AP Photo/Sayyid Azim

PRETORIA, November 6. /TASS/. A Kenyan catholic priest was sentenced to capital punishment by the Kenyan Court of Justice for killing an Italian bishop in 2005.

A Catholic priest Guyo Waqo from Kenya and four of his accomplices were sentenced to death for the murder of the 77-year-old Bishop of Isiolo (250 km from Nairobi) as reported in a communique of Public Service Commission of Kenya.

According to the document, this criminal group attacked the bishop in July of 2005 in order to get the endowment fund of Isiolo’s bishopric.

Luigi Locati who had been widely popular was killed, as reported, in a fight over control of bishopric and its finance after he retires.

After an eight-year trial the priest Guyo Waqo was found guilty of plotting the crime and involving four more accomplices: Mohammed Molu Bagajo, Aden Ibrahim Mohamed, Mahati Ali Halake, and Roba Balla Bariche.

The judge, Fred Ochieng, said the five accused were “directly involved in the planning and killing of the bishop”.

However, as the local media report, it is unlikely that the punishment will be imposed on the accused who plead innocent and have the right to appeal the verdict.

Capital punishment has not been carried out in Kenya since 1987 though it is not officially abolished.

Luigi Locati was born in 1928 in in the village Vinzaglio in northern Italy. He was ordained as priest in 1952 and 10 years later arrived in Kenya where he worked as a parish priest in Isiolo and did charity work.

In 2005, after serving for 40 years, he could have retired. He was asked to do it by Vatican that thought that the bishop can claim an honored place in Curia. But Locati sought to stay in Kenya and continue working.

His death was a shock for the Kenyans. Many people including then president Mwai Kibaki attended his funeral in Isiolo.

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