Pastor loses extradition appeal

BBC News/October 31, 2008

A controversial pastor who claimed he could give infertile couples "miracle babies" has failed in a bid to avoid extradition on child abduction charges.

Two High Court judges have rejected Gilbert Deya's appeal against the order to extradite him to Kenya.

Mr Deya, the self-proclaimed bishop of a church in Peckham, South London, says he faces torture in his native Kenya.

The Kenyan government alleges Mr Deya stole five children between 1999 and 2004.

He may now seek to have his case heard by the House of Lords.

Mr Deya, 55, runs Gilbert Deya Ministries, which claims a UK membership of 36,000.

The five children that he is accused of stealing have all been taken into care in Kenya.

'Political vendetta'

Police in Nairobi say their investigation revolves around the disappearance of babies from Nairobi's Pumwani Maternity Hospital and involves suspects in Britain, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya.

In fighting extradition, Mr Deya has argued that he is the victim of a political vendetta in Kenya and said his human rights would be compromised by the poor conditions in Kenyan prison.

But the High Court judges accepted the Kenyan government's position that the country's new coalition government had committed to improving prison conditions.

As to his fear of retribution at the hands of political enemies, the court ruled that the recent change of government in fact left Mr Deya closely affiliated to those in power.

A district judge ordered Mr Deya deported last year, an order which was confirmed by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

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