The German Medical Examiner Returns to the Autopsy He Performed on the Body of Bishop Balla
The German forensic scientist returns to the autopsy he performed on the remains of Bishop Jean Marie Benoit Balla in June 2017.

Director of the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Berlin, Germany, Micheal Tsokos was asked for a counter-expertise after two examinations carried out by Cameroonian forensic doctors. The lifeless body of the Bishop of Bafia (Central Region) was found on June 2, 2017 in the Sanaga River, three days after his disappearance was reported.

Meeting in Yaounde on 7 and 8 January on the theme of the new catechesis, the National Episcopal Conference of the Catholic Church, which still defends the thesis of the assassination, has no longer addressed the case of Bishop Balla.

Are you Professor Michael Tsokos, the one who performed an autopsy on the body of Bishop Jean Marie Jean-Marie Benoît Bala ??

Yes exactly. I performed this autopsy in June 2017.

How did you arrive on this case ??

I was contacted by Interpol (International Police Organization with 194 member countries, Editor’s note) from Lyon, France. They phoned me about a case of autopsy in Cameroon? and asked if I could go with an Interpol inspector to do this autopsy. So, Interpol called me.

You worked with Marc Mulder on this case …

Yes. Did you talk to him ??

We could not get in touch. What exactly did you find during this autopsy?

I found a body in advanced decay. So much putrefaction. And I did not find any injury on the body. I could therefore exclude a violent death. And I found signs of drowning.

I also found that the two autopsies that had been performed previously were not complete autopsies because many organs inside the body had not been touched. In addition, the neck organs have not been dissected. I had the opportunity to repeat a complete autopsy. And we also performed toxicological tests in the laboratory that turned out to be negative. I also had a microscopic examination that revealed that drowning was the most likely cause of death.

So you concluded that the bishop died from drowning? He was not tortured ??

Drowning was the most likely cause of death because it was difficult to prove anything else from an advanced decaying body. But since there were no other causes of death, so no internal illness could explain death, no violence, drowning was the most likely cause of death.

Some opinion continues to believe that the findings of this autopsy may have been biased by the authorities. Has the government weighed on your results ??

No. There is one essential thing. I have been a medical examiner for 25 years and when I arrived, I told the police, “I do not want to know what you think or what others think about the cause of his death. I will practice my autopsy and tell you what I found? ”

I was totally objective because no one told me that his body had been found in a river or what had happened before. So I was totally objective. This is an essential task that you must perform as an experienced forensic pathologist without listening to anyone’s opinion. You must make up your own mind.

So that was the main thing I had to do with Marc Mulder for Interpol. There were other government people still. I told them, “Listen, I do not want to hear anything. I will do my exam and tell you what happened. This is the main reason why no one had told me before: “We want this, we think that it is the assassination that is in fashion” or “we think he was beaten to death “Or” we think he drowned “.

I had no information before. I have had similar cases like this all the time? and this is the main trap you can fall into when people tell you what happened before. And for that case, I told them that I would give them my opinion and let them decide what they think.


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