Fresh inquiry into Kenyan murder
A FRESH inquiry into the murder of Bury St Edmunds photographer Julie Ward has been ordered by the new Kenyan government.The 28-year-old was killed more than 14 years ago and her mutilated and charred remains dumped in the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya.
A FRESH inquiry into the murder of Bury St Edmunds photographer Julie Ward has been ordered by the new Kenyan government.
The 28-year-old was killed more than 14 years ago and her mutilated and charred remains dumped in the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya.
Ms Ward's father John, a hotelier from Brockley Green, near Bury St Edmunds, has been fighting for 14 years for justice after several police investigations, an inquest and two criminal trials have failed to establish murdered his daughter.
But he has now learned, in the wake of President Daniel arap Moi's long-awaited resignation and the election of President Mwai Kibaki, the new Kenyan Justice Minister has said Ms Ward's case was to be reopened and a fresh inquiry begun.
"I'm encouraged by what I hear so far, though I've learned over all this time to be very cynical," said Mr Ward.
"In the past, anyone with information who might have come forward was clearly running a considerable risk to himself. I have to hope that now that may change."
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An independent team from Lincolnshire police is also scrutinising the original Scotland Yard investigation into the murder and the allegation members of the Foreign Office in London and High Commission in Nairobi tried to prevent Mr Ward discovering how his daughter died.
Mr Ward, 69, has recently unearthed a fresh lead relating to the balloon ride his daughter took.
Witnesses he has spoken to over the years insisted she was last seen on September 13, 1988, setting off alone in her 4x4 jeep – but one balloon pilot, a Frenchman whom Mr Ward has just tracked down, reported new information.
"He said there was a ranger in the vehicle with her when she left. He described the way the ranger was sitting there in the jeep, with his gun between his knees," said Mr Ward. Maybe he'd asked her for a lift.
Three men were tried for Ms Ward's murder – two rangers accused following the 1992 Scotland Yard investigation, and the head warden at Masai Mara, Simon Ole Makallah, in 1999 – and were all acquitted.