Cameroon: Death of Mgr Jean Marie Benoît Bala - Investigations Point to Probable Drowning

Below is a press release from the Procureur General at the Centre Court of Appeal

The Procureur General at the Centre Court of Appeal wishes to inform the public that the judicial enquiry into the suspicious death of Mgr Jean Marie Benoît Bala, Bishop of the Diocese of Bafia, is actively continuing. At the current stage, investigators have questioned many persons and conducted various searches. Information gathered is being processed to establish the truth. Post-mortem examinations were carried out on the mortal remains of the bishop of Bafia. After initial examination by two teams of local medical doctors on 2 and 22 June 2017, the decision was taken to resort to international expertise through INTERPOL. The forensic medical doctors sent by INTERPOL for that purpose, namely Professor Michael Tsokos, Director of the Berlin Institute of Forensic Medicine in Germany, and Doctor Mark Mulder, Coordinator of the Disaster Victim Identification Unit of Interpol, arrived Cameroon on 29 June 2017. After close examination, they noted the absence of any traces of violence on the body of the deceased and concluded, in this light, that drowning was the most probable cause of the bishop's death. Medical and forensic examinations having been completed, the corpse of Mgr Jean Marie Benoît Bala has been handed over to the authorities of the Catholic Church for burial. Investigations are continuing to establish the exact circumstances of this tragedy. The findings of the related enquiry will be made known to the public in due course. Yaounde, 04 July 2017 Jean Fils NTAMACK (s) Procureur General at the Centre Court of Appeal

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