A Kenyan decide on Wednesday ordered cult chief Paul Mackenzie and 30 associates to bear psychological well being evaluations earlier than being charged with the murders of 191 youngsters whose our bodies have been exhumed since final April from the forest of Shakahola.

Authorities say Mackenzie, the chief of the Worldwide Church of Good Information, ordered his followers in southeastern Kenya to starve and starve their youngsters to dying so he might go to heaven earlier than the world end

Greater than 400 our bodies had been found in the middle of months of exhumations in tens of hundreds of hectares of forest, making this one of many world's worst cultural disasters in current historical past.

Prosecutors say they’ll indict 95 folks in whole for homicide, manslaughter, terrorism and torture.

A lawyer for Mackenzie, who has been in custody since police started discovering the our bodies within the forest, mentioned the self-styled pastor was cooperating with the investigation.

Allegations of mass hunger

Throughout a listening to within the coastal metropolis of Malindi, a decide accepted a prosecution request to conduct psychological well being assessments of the 31 defendants earlier than they’re formally charged and enter pleas in two weeks.

Mackenzie, wearing a polo shirt, sat largely expressionless subsequent to his fellow defendants within the courtroom.

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Dozens of lives might have been spared if Kenyan authorities had acted earlier to close down a infamous Christian dying cult, Victor Kaudo, government director of the Malindi Middle for Social Justice, tells As It Occurs host Nil Köksal.

Prosecutors attributed delays within the expenses to the grueling and delicate activity of finding, exhuming and autopsiing so many human stays. A few of Mackenzie's different followers had been rescued, emaciated, from the forest.

Folks with data of the cult's actions advised Reuters final 12 months that Mackenzie deliberate the mass hunger in three phases: first the kids, then the ladies and youths, and at last the remaining males.

A former taxi driver, Mackenzie forbade cult members to ship their youngsters to high school and to go to hospital after they had been sick, branding such establishments as Satanic, a few of his followers mentioned.

He was convicted in December of manufacturing and distributing movies with no license and sentenced to 12 months in jail.

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