Pre-trial Date Set for Shakahola Case as Mackenzie Denied Bail

March 15, 2024

Pastor Paul Mackenzie and 38 others facing charges related to child cruelty, torture, and denying children their right to education have been denied bond.

A Mombasa court refused to grant bond to the cult leader and the 38 parents of children rescued from Shakahola forest, citing witness interference.

In a ruling on Thursday, March 14, Tononoka Principal Magistrate Nelly Chepchirchir emphasized the importance of considering the children’s best interests.

“It should be clear to the parties involved that all of the victims are children. Article 53 of the Constitution states that the best interests of a child shall be prioritized in all matters affecting a child, and this is no exception,” Chepchirchir observed.

Also Read – Mackenzie and 38 Co-Defendants Charged with Child Torture and Cruelty

“Having considered the nature of offences that the accused persons are charged with and the need to safeguard the best interests of the children who are witnesses in this matter and whom the accused may or have authority over, I find that these are compelling reasons to warrant all the accused persons to be denied bond at this point.”

The court agreed with the prosecution’s argument that Mackenzie and his co-accused exert significant influence and control over the children who are potential witnesses in the case.

The court assured that the case would be expedited to ensure justice for all parties involved. A pre-trial is scheduled for April 23, 2024, with provisions for virtual attendance by the accused persons.

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