CHRISTIAN BREAKING NEWS: [UPDATE] Paul Mackenzie | Kenya Cult Leader to Undergo Mental Health Checks | Hearing to Resume on Feb. 6 [#PaulMackenzie]
A court has ordered that a cult leader arrested in Kenya in connection with over 400 deaths undergo mental health screenings before being prosecuted.
Paul Mackenzie was arrested in April last year after hundreds of bodies were discovered in mass graves.
Most exhibited symptoms of malnutrition, but others, including children, may have been abused.
Mackenzie, a self-proclaimed pastor suspected of heading a doomsday cult, has denied involvement in the deaths.
Prosecutors plan to prosecute him and 94 others with murder, manslaughter, terrorism, and torture.
On Wednesday, however, they urged a judge in the seaside town of Malindi for extra time to evaluate if MacKenzie and 30 other suspects are mentally fit to face trial.
Justice Mugure Thande approved the request and gave the prosecution 14 days to complete the evaluations.
The accused were handcuffed in pairs at Wednesday’s hearing, with the exception of Mackenzie, who was alone.
The hearing will resume on Feb. 6.
In April 2023, the bodies of 429 individuals, including children, were discovered in burial sites in Shakahola, a rural woodland approximately 2 hours’ drive west of Malindi, shocking not just Kenyans but people throughout the world.
Some Kenyans are perplexed as to why the case has progressed so slowly despite the discovery of so many dead.
Mackenzie is accused of encouraging members of his Good News International Church to relocate there and prepare for the end of the world.
However, Mackenzie has stated that the deaths cannot be put on him, as he dissolved his church in 2019.
Last November, he was sentenced to 12 months in jail for producing and distributing films without a license.
His lawyer stated that he will file an appeal against the judgment.
He and his co-accused are also facing terrorist accusations in a case heard in Mombasa, a neighboring coastal county.
Press Statement on the Shakahola Massacre from Office of The Director Of Public Prosecutions on X:
— Office of The Director Of Public Prosecutions (@ODPP_KE) January 16, 2024
Renson Ingonga, Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), has approved 10 charges, including murder and terrorism, against suspects in the Shakahola cult massacre, which killed over 430 people.
The DPP stated that his office evaluated the case file given by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and found sufficient evidence to charge 95 people, including cult leader Paul Mackenzie, who were arrested in connection with the tragedy.
Mr Ingonga has ordered that the suspects be brought before the High Court and the Magistrate’s Court to face criminal charges in connection with the tragedy that took the lives of Good News International Church members.
According to the Penal Code, the suspects will be charged with murder, manslaughter, and assault inflicting serious bodily harm.
The suspects will face charges under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2012 and the Prevention of Organized Crime Act 2010 for engaging in organized criminal activity, radicalization, facilitating the commission of a terrorist act, and possession of an article connected to an offense under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2012.
The suspects will face charges under the Children’s Act, the Prevention of Torture Act, and the Basic Education Act of 2013 for subjecting a child to torture, cruelty, and violating a child’s right to an education.
Mackenzie, the suspected Kilifi cult leader, and 29 of his accomplices have been in detention since May of last year in connection with the fatalities.
A further 66 persons who were rescued from the jungle are being held in prison pending investigations into their involvement in the atrocity.
Last Monday, the Shanzu court granted the State 14 days to bring charges against the defendants or release them on bail.
Kilifi County Criminal Investigations Officer David Siele told nation.africa that the first batch of Shakahola suspects would be charged in Malindi High Court on Wednesday.
Speaking in his office, Mr Siele stated that the second group will be charged with a variety of offenses, including child crimes, next week.
The Kilifi County Criminal Investigation Department was busy on Tuesday morning as investigators prepared for the arraignment.
They were scheduled to visit the suspects in Bofa GK jail in Kilifi town to file charges and statements.
[UPDATE] Paul Mackenzie Kenya Cult Leader to Undergo Mental Health Checks Hearing to Resume Feb. 6 | Christian Breaking News!