The 191 kids had been among the many 425 victims discovered within the Shakahola forest in coastal Kenya final yr.
Kenyan cult chief Paul NthengeMackenzie and 29 associates had been on Tuesday charged with the homicide of 191 kids whose our bodies had been discovered amongst a whole lot of individuals buried in a forest.
The defendants all denied the fees introduced earlier than a courtroom within the coastal city of Malindi close to the Indian Ocean. One suspect was discovered mentally unfit to face trial and has been ordered to return to the Malindi High Court in a month.
Prosecutors mentioned Mackenzie ordered his followers to starve themselves and their kids to dying in order that they might go to heaven earlier than the world ended, in one of many world’s worst cult-related disasters in current historical past.
The former taxi driver turned self-proclaimed pastor has already been charged with “terrorism”, manslaughter in addition to baby torture and cruelty. He was arrested in April final yr after our bodies had been discovered within the Shakahola forest.
Autopsies revealed that almost all of the 429 victims had died of starvation. But others, together with kids, appeared to have been strangled, crushed, or suffocated.
The case, dubbed the “Shakahola forest massacre”, led the federal government to flag the necessity for tighter management of fringe denominations.
A largely Christian nation, Kenya has struggled to control unscrupulous church buildings and cults that dabble in criminality.