New breakthrough in Julie Ward case

A FATHER who has spent two decades trying to bring his daughter's killers to justice said a major breakthrough has been made in the case following DNA testing of evidence found at the murder scene.

A FATHER who has spent two decades trying to bring his daughter's killers to justice said a major breakthrough has been made in the case following DNA testing of evidence found at the murder scene.

John Ward has campaigned tirelessly to find those responsible for murdering 28-year-old photographer Julie Ward at the Masai Mara national park in Kenya in 1988.

He said last night that excrement found near Miss Ward's body had finally produced positive DNA results thanks to advances in forensic technology.

But he also said the case was no closer to being solved because of the current violence in Kenya, and a human rights directive preventing outside intervention in cases where a conviction could lead to someone being given the death penalty.

“We have had a breakthrough with the excrement that has been on ice, because now that DNA techniques have advanced we have been able to get positive results from the latest tests that have been carried out,” said Mr Ward, who had been planning to make a another trip from his home near Bury St Edmunds to Kenya this month.

“We know the excrement is not Julie's and it is likely to be from the person who murdered her.

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“But we take one step forward and three steps backwards because Scotland Yard has been told it cannot take the evidence to Kenya because of a European directive on human rights.

“And I cannot make any progress while I do not have the cooperation of the Kenyan Government, and that is not going to happen with things the way they are at the moment.”

Mr Ward said he believes one way around the problem would be for him present the evidence to Kenyan police himself, in a bid to compare it with DNA taken from the six suspects in the case.

But he said that while he will never give up in his quest to find Miss Ward's killers, he has no choice but to wait for an end to the violence in Kenya.

“Although I cannot do much in Kenya, I intend to turn up the pressure on Scotland Yard because I still cannot exclude the possibility that there are people in this country who know who murdered Julie,” he said.

“It is very exciting to be presented with something such as this DNA evidence that might help catch the killer after all this time, and it is frustrating not to be able to do anything with it at the moment. But I have been up and down with this case for so long now and I am used to hitting stumbling blocks, and I just have to keep trying.”