Fresh Julie Ward claims dismissed

By Mark HeathTHE father of murdered photographer Julie Ward has poured scorn on the claims of a new witness who claimed to have seen his daughter gang-raped and killed.

By Mark Heath

THE father of murdered photographer Julie Ward has poured scorn on the claims of a new witness who claimed to have seen his daughter gang-raped and killed.

John Ward, who lives in Brockley Green, near Bury St Edmunds, was speaking last night after the allegations were made in a Kenyan newspaper.

In the article published in the East African Standard on Saturday, a man claiming be a former intelligence officer alleged Ms Ward's death was linked to three individuals in the former Kenyan government.

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He also claimed the 28-year-old had been gang-raped before she was killed on the assumption that she was a British secret agent.

The man, who claimed to have been trained by Mossad, an Israeli intelligence service, said he was present when Ms Ward was attacked and murdered.

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He added: "After the rape, they discovered that in her possession she had sensitive information which suggested she was no ordinary tourist. They concluded that she was a British secret agent on a mission to Kenya and that assumption sealed her fate."

The man went on to claim that Ms Ward had been forced to drive her jeep miles from where she was staying in an effort to make it appear that she had got lost.

"She was then blindfolded and dragged into a thicket where she was butchered. The things I saw that night will live with me till I die," he said.

Speaking from his home last night, Mr Ward - who has blazed a personal trail to find the truth behind his only daughter's death - dismissed the allegations.

"It's a load of rubbish. I put no stock in this whatsoever. This sort of nonsense has been going on for a long time," he said.

But he vowed: "I shall be going out to Kenya within a few weeks and we will go from there. I don't know if I'll ever get to the bottom of this - but I shall try."

His daughter's charred and mutilated remains were found in the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya on September 13, 1988.

The Kenyan government originally refused to launch a murder inquiry, claiming Ms Ward had been attacked and killed by wild animals.

After years of campaigning for justice, Mr Ward finally saw an inquest into his only daughter's death held in Ipswich last month - which returned a verdict of unlawful killing.

At the culmination of the six-day inquest, Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean suggested there had been a cover-up following Ms Ward's death.

He added: "A resolution will only be reached and justice finally done for Julie by the reopening of this case in Kenya.

"The net is closing around those responsible for this awful and brutal crime. There are clearly people in Kenya at this time who do have knowledge - now is the time for those people to come forward and let the authorities know."

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