KERICHO, Kenya – A hearing for nine suspects in the murder of an Irish missionary priest was postponed when the magistrate said he was being transferred to another court.
Principal Magistrate Walter Nyarima responded to a question by Nakuru-based lawyer Kahika Watindi, who represents the family of Kiltegan Father Jeremiah Roche. The priest was robbed and murdered the night of Dec. 10 in his Keongo parish house.
Defense lawyers were not present at the July 22 hearing.
Bernard Kivihya, a lawyer for the state, told the court that the prosecution was not ready to proceed with the case because evidence had not been received from the government chemist.
Nyarima adjourned the hearing and set the next hearing for Sept. 20, by which time he will have a successor.
Father Roche was 68, had ministered in Kenya for 41 years and was involved in numerous projects, including the construction of churches and schools in the Kericho Diocese.