Paul Mackenzie and 94 others have been charged over the deaths of followers whose our bodies have been dug up within the Shakahola Forest.
A Kenyan court docket has charged cult chief Paul Mackenzie with “terrorism”-related crimes over the deaths of 429 of his followers.
The self-styled preacher was charged Thursday together with 94 others within the deaths of followers whose our bodies have been dug up within the Shakahola Forest close to the Indian Ocean.
Mackenzie was arrested final April after the our bodies have been found.
The costs, introduced throughout an look earlier than a court docket within the southeastern metropolis of Mombasa, are the primary to be filed towards him.
Mackenzie and his co-defendants denied the costs throughout their look earlier than Choose Joe Omido. They’re due again in court docket on February 8 for a bond listening to.
Authorities allege Mackenzie, the pinnacle of the Good Information Worldwide Church, incited his acolytes in southeastern Kenya to starve themselves and their kids so they may go to heaven earlier than the world ended.
The our bodies of the victims have been uncovered throughout months of excavations in tens of hundreds of hectares of forest.
Autopsies confirmed that almost all had died of hunger. However others, together with kids, appeared to have been strangled, crushed or suffocated.
‘Organized felony group’
Court docket paperwork cited by the APF information company describe Good Information Worldwide Ministries as “an organized felony group that engaged in organized felony exercise, endangering lives and resulting in the deaths of 429 members and followers.”
Mackenzie was additionally charged with “organized felony exercise,” AFP reported, and he and the opposite suspects pleaded “not responsible” to radicalization prices.
Mackenzie’s pre-trial detention in Mombasa was prolonged a number of occasions because the prosecutor requested extra time to research the case.
However final week a court docket warned authorities that it will launch the previous taxi driver until prices have been filed inside 14 days.
On Wednesday, a decide in one other court docket within the coastal city of Malindi ordered Mackenzie and 30 of his associates taken for psychological well being examinations earlier than being charged with homicide in reference to 191 deaths.
Prosecutors in Mombasa and Malindi say they can even cost the 95 individuals with manslaughter and torture.
The grotesque case, dubbed the “Shakahola Forest Bloodbath,” prompted the Kenyan authorities to emphasise the necessity for stricter controls on fringe denominations.
The sect chief was beforehand arrested in 2019, additionally in reference to the deaths of youngsters, however was launched on bail. The circumstances are nonetheless in court docket.