School silent on conflicting reports

By staff reporters

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Bethlehem College refuses to comment on further conflicting accounts of the fatal mini van crash in Kenya until its own investigation is complete.

Despite an admission by former student David Fellows, 19, that he was driving the mini van when it crashed, Kenyan police insisted this was incorrect.

Their investigations found Kenyan man Chris Mmata, one of four people killed in the crash, was driving the mini van.

Bethlehem College principal Eoin Crosbie (pictured) said Kenyan police had "made a decision" about who was at the wheel and it was inappropriate for the school to comment on it.

"It's nothing to do with us," he said.

Mr Crosbie said the investigation into the crash, being carried out by a private investigator hired by the school, was now under way.

When asked to comment on the string of conflicting stories emerging, Mr Crosbie said: "That's precisely why we're having the investigation."

He had no idea how long it would take, saying it was dependent on the ability of "people to meet with people doing the investigation".

Despite the investigation being partially taxpayer-funded through the Ministry of Education, the school would not reveal any details of it.

Mr Crosbie would not say whether anyone would travel to Kenya during the investigation or if it was being carried out from New Zealand.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

Mr Crosbie referred the Bay of Plenty Times to board of trustees chairman and local lawyer Greg Hollister-Jones who could not be reached for comment.

Mr Crosbie said Mr Hollister-Jones was a busy man who had been in court all day.

"If you want answers about that, you keep asking him," he said.

The school was no longer employing a public relations company to work on its behalf and all inquiries were being directed to Mr Hollister-Jones.

Meanwhile, lawyer Paul Mabey QC, who was acting on behalf of Mr Fellows, said news of the decision by Kenyan police boded well for his client.

"If the Kenyan police take the view that David was not driving then he can hardly be charged and without a charge he can't be extradited."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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