The head of a south London church has denied fraud after allegedly selling “plague protection kits” as a bogus cure for Covid-19.
Bishop Climate Wiseman, 46, who is also known as Dr Climate Wiseman and Climate Irungu, is said to have offered the package, containing a small bottle of oil and piece of red yarn, for £91.
Wiseman, the head of the Kingdom Church in Camberwell, south London, allegedly marketed the mixture to “treat, prevent, protect against or cure” coronavirus.
He appeared at Inner London Crown Court on Monday wearing a white bishop-style robe, embroidered with gold crosses, dog collar and crucifix.
Wiseman spoke to confirm his identity and date of birth before pleading not guilty to a single charge of fraud and two charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations between March 23 and 24.
The charges allege he made false representations while trading as “Bishop Climate Ministries” in person, online, and through instructional and testimonial videos.
Prosecutors say he made “untrue and misleading” claims concerning the ability of an oil mixture marketed as “Divine Cleansing Oil” or as part of a “Divine Plague Prevention Kit” to “treat, prevent, protect against or cure” coronavirus.
Nargees Choudhary, defending, said her client was not an “anti-vaxxer” and had been double jabbed.
She said he is free to practise his religion and denies being “dishonest” or “acting in a deceitful way”.
Wiseman pumped his fist in the air as he left the building to cheers from around 50 supporters, dressed in red, who chanted: “We shall not, we shall not be moved.”
During the hearing, they had blown whistles, while one member climbed on top of a phone box and led cries through a megaphone of “freedom” and “leave us alone”.
Judge Benedict Kelleher released Wiseman on unconditional bail ahead of his trial at the same court on July 11 next year.