Gilbert Deya probe results to be delayed

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The results of investigations into the work of the Gilbert Deya Ministries will not be released until legal cases in Kenya involving Mr Deya and his wife Mary have been completed, the UK’s Charity Commission has said.

Mrs Deya was this week jailed for two years by a Nairobi court for child abduction.

The commission which began the investigations in 2004 as a result of its concerns over allegations of international baby-trafficking, completed compiling its results last year, and has now closed its inquiry.

Miracle births

It was specifically concerned with allegations on the church’s Web site which made claims to “miracle births” attributed to Mr Deya. However, it says it will not release the findings until the criminal proceedings have been completed.

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It is also awaiting the result of the legal process instigated by the Kenyan authorities to extradite Mr Deya to the UK. His lawyers are currently fighting the process after being arrested by the UK authorities in December. In a statement released to the Sunday Nation, the commission said it “closed its inquiry into the Gilbert Deya Ministries on September 26, 2006.

Charitable funds

“The scope of our inquiry focused on allegations relating to the misapplication of charitable funds and the risk to the charity’s reputation in relation to issues of international baby-trafficking. The inquiry was not a criminal investigation and did not seek to verify child trafficking claims — that would be a matter for the police and Kenyan authorities.

“As part of our inquiry, the commission has worked with the charity trustees to ensure that all references to €˜miracle babies’ have been removed from the Web site and that no further claims are made. We continue to monitor the charity in respect of such claims. The commission also analysed the books and records of the charity and issues of budgetary control were highlighted.

Frozen accounts

“The charity has now appointed auditors and is working to strengthen and develop the charity’s financial controls and procedures. We will continue to consider aspects of this work by the charity.”

The commission had frozen the Deya Ministries’ bank accounts following the investigations, but has reopened them although the finances remain under scrutiny. The Deya organisation is said to have 34,000 members in the UK, but recent media reports say the number is a gross exaggeration.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Sunday Nation, Kenya
June 3, 2007
Paul Redfern, Sunday Nation Correspondent, London

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This post was last updated: Monday, August 20, 2007 at 12:31 PM, Central European Time (CET)