Court Orders Mental Assessment on Mackenzie and his Shakahola Followers

January 18, 2024

The High Court sitting in Malindi has allowed the prosecution to conduct a mental health assessment on Paul Mackenzie and 30 other co-accused followers associated with the Shakahola massacre before proceeding to trial for the alleged murder of the children victims.

A total of 429 bodies, including at least 238 children, have since been exhumed from the expansive Shakahola forest. The victims reportedly perished after being purportedly compelled to observe weeks of fasting, with evidence suggesting that some were strangled to death.

Following a nine-month investigation, the Director of Public Prosecutions stated that Mackenzie and 30 others were accountable for the deaths of victims, predominantly children.

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Mackenzie and the co-accused were brought before the court on Wednesday, with the DPP requesting two weeks to conduct mental assessments before formally charging them with murder.

The defense team, led by Wycliff Makasembo, opposed the application.

Nevertheless, Malindi High Court Judge Lady Justice Thande Mugure granted the prosecution 14 days to detain the suspects for further mental assessments. The proceedings are scheduled to be mentioned on February 6.

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