Father steps up bid for justice

THE father of murdered East Anglian adventurer Julie Ward will meet two new witnesses today who claim to have fresh information about the 1988 killing.

THE father of murdered East Anglian adventurer Julie Ward will meet two new witnesses today who claim to have fresh information about the 1988 killing.

The interviews will take place in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, where John Ward is currently trying to instigate a fresh probe into his daughter's death which he believes will finally solve the murder riddle he has been determined to unravel for almost two decades.

He is due to meet high-ranking Kenyan Government officials later this week to present them with a number of “significant” new leads which he hopes will prompt them to re-open the case.

Mr Ward, who lives near Bury St Edmunds, is currently arranging a number of appointments from his Nairobi hotel room, and will interview two of five new witnesses today.

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Speaking to the EADT last night, Mr Ward said: “At the moment I am just making dozens of phone calls to organise all the meetings that will take place while I am here.

“I expect to meet the Government officials later this week, but there are some other things I need to do as well.

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“I am meeting two men tomorrow who claim to have information about what happened to Julie, I don't know how genuine they are but it will be interesting to see what they say. There are also three other new witnesses I need to interview while I am here.”

Ms Ward, 28, was nearing the end of an eight-month trip photographing wildlife in Kenya when she was brutally murdered on the Masai Mara game reserve in September 1988.

Nearly 17 years after her death nobody has been brought to justice for the killing, despite three Kenyan citizens having stood trial accused of her murder. On each occasion the men were acquitted.

Initially the Kenyan authorities claimed wild animals ate Ms Ward, but after her father found her charred and mutilated remains scattered across the game park, they had to admit she had been murdered.

During the first British inquest into Ms Ward's death, held in Ipswich last year, the new Kenyan Government, led by Mwai Kibaki, promised that should new evidence come to light it would re-open the investigation in a bid to rid the nation of its “ugly” past under the former regime of Daniel Arap Moi.

Mr Ward says he now expects the new Kenyan Government to come good on its promise when he presents the new information and leads he has recently uncovered.

“We do have a number of new leads and vital pieces of information to put on the table, and I am sure the case will be re-opened,” he said.

“Once the case is re-opened we will undoubtedly be in the strongest position we have ever been in. With all the new evidence and the new regime in Kenya I am hopeful we can finally get to the bottom of what happened to Julie.

“I firmly believe this case can still be solved and the killers caught and brought to justice.”

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