Catholic World News

Cameroon’s bishops insist Bishop Balla was murder victim, not suicide

July 10, 2017

The Catholic bishops of Cameroon insist that Bishop Jean-Marie Benoit Balla of Bafia was “brutally assassinated,” rejected the conclusions of an autopsy that found “no trace of violence.”

At a July 7 press conference, Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Doula, the president of the nation’s episcopal conference, rejected the results of the autopsy that had been performed by German doctors. Government officials had stressed that the autopsy was performed independently under international supervision.

The bishops’ rejection of the results points to the deep level of suspicion between the Catholic hierarchy and the government leadership. Some observers questioned whether the bishops feared that the government had provided another body for the autopsy. At his July 7 press conference, Archbishop Kleda declined to give a direct answer to the question of whether the bishops had received Bishop Balla’s body for burial.

While investigation of Bishop Balla’s death continues, government officials now suggest that it was a suicide.

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