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Second Kenya Arrest Over 'Abduction'

A second Australian member of a religious cult has been arrested in Kenya over the alleged abduction of a young single mother.

Susan Gianstefani, a member of the international cult Jesus Christians, was arrested by police in Nairobi and is expected to appear soon in the High Court in Nairobi to be charged with abduction, cult founder Dave McKay said in Sydney.

Her husband Roland Gianstefani, was charged with abduction last month following the disappearance of journalist Betty Waitherero Njoroge and her seven-year-old son, Joshua.

After Roland Gianstefani’s arrest, Ms Njoroge said the group had done nothing wrong and she was in hiding.

Ms Njoroge, in a statement released by the Jesus Christians, said her wealthy father had convinced police to keep Mr Gianstefani as a hostage until she relinquished custody of Joshua.

Mr McKay said he had spoken to Ms Waitherero.

“She didn’t say a whole lot but she’s pretty strong about not giving in to her father’s demands,” he said.

“As long as the (Jesus Christians) community and Roland and Sue are willing to help her, she’s not going to hand over Josh.”

Mr McKay said Susan Gianstefani was released by police immediately after her arrest, on her own undertaking to attend court.

However, her lawyer had advised that she was likely to be taken into police custody once charges were laid, Mr McKay said.

He said the Jesus Christians, who pledge to live in poverty, had stretched their finances already to secure the 600,000 Kenyan shillings ($A12,000) required for Roland Gianstefani’s bail and could not afford bail for his wife.

The Gianstefanis, from NSW, were given suspended six-month jail sentences in 2000 by a court in Britain after refusing to reveal the whereabouts of an English teenager who left home to join the Jesus Christians.

The Jesus Christians attracted attention in Australia last year after revelations they lied to health authorities so they could donate their kidneys to strangers.

NSW later introduced legislation to legalise live kidney donations by strangers.

The Department of Foreign Affairs could not immediately verify Susan Gianstefani’s arrest.

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