Deya Vows To Fight Deportation

Nairobi, Kenya - Controversial preacher Archbishop Gilbert Deya, who was recently detained by UK police on allegations of child trafficking, has vowed to fight his deportation.

Deya, who was arrested in Scotland three weeks ago, told his congregation in London he was bracing himself for a tough war to obtain leave to stay in the UK. He was detained for seven days in Scotland and three days in London.

"The Home Office had no reason to detain me and it has no reason to deport me. I am determined to remain in the UK," said the televangelist, whose sermon was recorded on a videotape obtained by The Standard.

Deya said if deported, he would not get a fair trial in Kenya, where he is wanted over the "miracle babies" saga that rocked the country almost two years ago.

The Government has issued an arrest warrant against him, while his wife, Mary Deya, has since been charged over the saga. The 54-year-old preacher has obtained orders blocking the UK from extraditing him, and demanded to know the charges he is facing. He has also denied being a child trafficker.

Deya's lawyer, Cliff Ombeta, said his client was working on his immigration papers. While in detention, his son, Amos, took charge of the London church. Upon his release, his followers welcomed him with jubilation as he walked to the pulpit.

"While I was in detention, I preached to my fellow detainees and changed the hearts of many. They included Muslims and Hindus," he said.

In September 2004, Deya applied for asylum in the UK, claiming his life was in danger following reports that Kenyan authorities wanted to question him over the child-trafficking allegations.