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Kenyan court acquits ‘miracle baby’ televangelist of trafficking | Courts News

The Nairobi court docket dominated that the prosecution had not produced sufficient proof to hyperlink Gilbert Deya to the costs.

A Kenyan court docket has acquitted a controversial self-styled preacher who claimed he might assist infertile {couples} conceive “miracle infants” via prayer, citing inadequate proof from prosecutors.

Senior Principal Justice of the Peace Robison Ondieki of the Milimani excessive court docket discovered Gilbert Deya not responsible, ruling on Monday that the prosecution had not produced sufficient proof to hyperlink the 86-year-old to the costs.

Deya, a former stonemason who moved to London from Kenya as a preferred televangelist within the mid-90s, was accused of stealing 5 youngsters between 1999 and 2004 to buttress his claims.

“The prosecution, having failed to determine circumstantial proof, I acquit the accused underneath part 215 of the Felony Process Court docket [CPC],” Ondieki mentioned.

“We’re extraordinarily completely happy as a result of it portrays the suitable place in legislation and portrays that we will nonetheless get justice inside our legislation, and justice shall be our protect and defender,” John Swaka, Deya’s lawyer, instructed Al Jazeera. “We’re completely happy as a result of it’s a case that has dragged on within the courts for fairly some time and eventually the reality has come out.”

The prosecution declined to reply questions from Al Jazeera on the case.

The preacher, whose Gilbert Deya Ministries had church buildings in London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and Manchester, was extradited from Britain to Kenya in 2017 following a decade-long authorized battle to stay in the UK.

Deya – who claims he was ordained as an archbishop by the United Evangelical Church buildings of America in 1992 – and his spouse Mary claimed their prayers might make infertile and postmenopausal ladies develop into pregnant in 4 months and with out intercourse.

Nonetheless, prosecutors mentioned the “miracle infants” had been stolen, primarily from Nairobi’s poor neighbourhoods. They introduced 26 witnesses earlier than the courts.

Deya’s claims first got here to mild in a 2004 case, when a British coroner discovered {that a} child known as Sarah, who had died aged three weeks, was not associated to both of her supposed dad and mom.

The mom had been instructed she was infertile and travelled to Nairobi the place she claimed to have given beginning, however DNA checks proved in any other case.

The case was the primary time in eight centuries that an English coroner needed to come to an official view on whether or not a miracle had taken place.

A predominantly Christian nation, Kenya is residence to about 4,000 church buildings, together with some run by self-styled pastors with no theological schooling.

The invention in April of our bodies linked to a Kenyan cult that practised hunger to “meet Jesus Christ” has prompted questions in regards to the want for extra regulation of non secular outfits within the East African nation.

Practically 400 our bodies have been discovered to this point within the Shakahola forest in coastal Kenya, with cult chief and self-proclaimed pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie in police custody since mid-April.

With further reporting by Vivianne Wandera from Nairobi, Kenya.

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