A Kenyan preacher who had been accused of “child stealing” has lost his High Court case to stay in the United Kingdom.
65-year-old Gilbert Deya has been wanted by Kenyan authorities amid allegations he stole five children since 2004.
Deya, who runs an evangelical church in Peckham, south-east London, had fought a long legal battle to remain in the UK, and denies the accusations.
However, in his latest attempt to block his extradition to Kenya where he is expected to stand trial, two judges in London ruled he had “no arguable grounds” to seek a judicial review.
Lord Justice Gross, sitting with Sir Kenneth Parker, said it was “little short of scandalous” that his case had taken so long to resolve and it was “essential” that such extradition cases were firmly “gripped” by the Home Secretary, adding: “The court will be more than willing to play its part.”
Initially arrested in the UK in December 2006 following the issuing of an international arrest warrant by the chief magistrate’s court in Nairobi, the pastor is alleged to have said he could deliver “miracle babies” to post-menopausal or infertile women in Britain.
Once the women were convinced they were pregnant they travelled to Kenya with his wife Mary where they “gave birth” in back-street clinics before being given a baby, but the infants are alleged to have been taken from their real parents.
Altogether, more than 50 families in Nairobi claim to have had their children were stolen.
In November 2004 the High Court in the UK ruled that a ‘miracle baby’ in London was the victim of child trafficking, and that the supposed miracle displayed was a ruse in order to generate funds from a “deceived congregation”.
Mr Justice Ryder ruled that in order to maintain the illusion of a genuine birth, the child’s ‘mother’ was seriously assaulted “and a live child who had been born to another family was presented to her as her child.” He also ruled that “[the baby’s] birth as described was a falsehood not a miracle.”
Deya appealed against his extradition on the grounds that he might face torture in Kenya, but in late 2008 his case was rejected by the High Court and leave to appeal to the House of Lords was refused.
It was reported in April 2010 that Deya was still in England and that Deya’s MP David Lammy, had enquired of the government why he had not yet been extradited. Lammy was concerned that justice was being denied to several of his constituents who were victims of the alleged trafficked babies fraud.
The Home Office responded that it was still considering representations from Deya’s solicitors that sending him to Kenya would breach his human rights.
In September 2011, it appeared that all avenues of appeal had been exhausted and Deya would now be extradited to Kenya, but the Evening Standard reported in October 2016 that Deya had applied for a judicial review of the decision.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith originally ordered Deya’s extradition in 2008, while Theresa May did so again after further investigations in 2011.