- Led in his defence by lawyer John Swaka, the bishop denied having given any instruction to anybody to keep the five children in his Mountain View home.
- Magistrate Robinson Ondieki was told the charges were malicious and intended to tarnish the bishop's reputation as "a man of God".
A Nairobi court has adjourned a child theft case against Bishop Gilbert Juma Deya after the trial magistrate said he was sick.
Deya, who appeared before Milimani senior principal magistrate Robison Ondieki on Wednesday, was ready for his defence hearing with his lawyer John Swaka.
Senior state prosecutor Nicholas Mutuku said he was also ready to cross examine the accused in his defence.
The magistrate, however, said he was not feeling well and asked to adjourn the case.
“I am not feeling well and I request that Bishop Deya prays for my healing," prosecutor Mutuku told court.
Deya told court that he will pray for him since he is filled with the Holy Spirit.
When asked by the magistrate if he speaks in tongues, Deya said he does so as he is empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues. He even wished to demonstrate it in court if given a chance.
The case was adjourned to April 20.
In the case, Deya is charged with five counts of stealing five children, all aged below 14 years, between 2002 and 2004, at Mountain View estate.
Last month, the accused urged court to acquit him for lack of evidence.
While defending himself from the allegation, the preacher, who was on August 4, 2017, deported to Kenya from the UK to face child theft charges, denied all the five counts.
Led in his defence by lawyer John Swaka, the bishop denied having given any instruction to anybody to keep the five children in his Mountain View home in Nairobi.
Magistrate Robinson Ondieki was told the charges were malicious and intended to tarnish his reputation as "a man of God".
At the time of the alleged offences, he was in the UK, then the headquarters of his church.
"Your honour, I did not process a birth certificate for the alleged children and that the DNA result did not show that the children were mine," Deya said.
He denied visiting a number of hospitals or clinics and maintained he had no connection with the five children.
Deya told the court that his wife, Mary, was first charged with the same offence of stealing five children but the court acquitted her for lack of evidence.
"Your honour, prosecution later charged me with the same offence. The ingredients of the offence have not been proven to satisfaction," the bishop said.
Swaka submitted that the prosecution presented exhibits that failed to show that his client was at fault or was guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.
"There was no evidence pointing to the offence laid out against the accused person," the lawyer said, adding that the prosecution relied on witnesses who failed to demonstrate that Deya received and or trafficked children.
The testimonies of prosecution witnesses showed that the accused was abroad and could therefore not be linked to the act of receiving and harbouring the children.
"It is our humble and most considered submission that the prosecution's case has been a certified failure and a dead wood ab-initio," Swaka said.
He said there was a further likelihood that the charges against the accused were borne out of malice and ill will.
(edited by Amol Awuor)