UK court to rule on Gilbert Deya trial in Kenya

Self-styled archbishop Gilbert Deya will on Thursday know whether or not he has to return to Kenya to face trial on counts of baby-trafficking.

Following a two-day hearing in London into an extradition request from the Kenya government, who are seeking to try the controversial evangelical pastor, a UK court has announced that a judgment will be made on Thursday.

During the hearing which began on Wednesday, the Kenya government alleged that Mr Deya stole five children between May 1999 and December 2004 and tried to pass them off as his own.

He is accused also of conspiracy to murder a police officer in Kenya. However, his lawyer, Mr Ben Cooper, said his client is a victim of a political vendetta by the Kenya government because of his criticism of it.

Thousands of followers

Mr Deya, who runs the south London-based Gilbert Deya Ministries (GDM), which has thousands of followers in the UK, was arrested by the British authorities following an extradition request by the Kenya government last December. He was later released on bail.

In her submission on behalf of the Kenya government, Ms Adina Ezekiel told Westminster district court judge Caroline Tubbs that there was sufficient evidence to back the requests.

The miracle babies claim of miraculous births by previously barren women as a result of prayer is not backed by forensic and DNA evidence, the court was told.

Police in Kenya allege that the GDM is an international baby-snatching ring. Their investigation centres around the disappearance of babies from Nairobi’s Pumwani maternity hospital and is said to involve suspects in the UK, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya. During the hearing Mr Deya spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday November 5, 2007.
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