An evangelical pastor accused of harbouring stolen children in a “miracle babies” scam is fighting extradition to Kenya.
Gilbert Deya, 55, a self-styled archbishop who runs his 34,000-member worldwide ministry Gilbert Deya Ministries from Ormside Road in Peckham, claims infertile couples can conceive through the power of prayer.
Cops seized 10 children from his Kenyan home in 2004 and arrested three church members including his wife, Mary Juma Deya.
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He claims five of the kids are his own but tests allegedly prove he is not their biological father.
Medical experts fear the youngsters are actually victims of child trafficking, stolen from poor Kenyan women.
Bank accounts from Deya’s ministry – which has churches across the country – have since been frozen pending an investigation into his activities.
He was arrested recently at a South London immigration centre and is resisting his return to Kenya, saying he could face the death penalty if convicted.
He claims his open opposition to the Kenyan president could also prejudice his case.
Deya further fears he could be tried for allegedly murdering a Kenyan police inspector – a charge not submitted on the recent warrant.
Adina Ezekiel, for the Kenyan authorities, told City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday: “The allegation is that Mr Deya and his wife, between May 12, 1999, and August 19, 2004, with the involvement of others,without lawful authority or excuse, harboured five children knowing them to be detained without the permission of their parents or guardian.
“Mr Deya asserts that he is the biological father of the five children in question.”
The lawyer said the charges span from the “deceptive” registration of the five children’s births until they were removed from Deya’s home aged between 12 months and four-and-a-half years old.
Mrs Deya has been jailed for two years after a trial in Kenya.
Deya faces five charges of harbouring stolen children and one charge of conspiracy to harbour stolen children.
The hearing continues.