Kenyan Cult Leader Paul Mackenzie Charged With Terrorism

Self-proclaimed pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie (C), who set up the Good News International Church in 2003 and is accused of inciting cult followers to starve to death “to meet Jesus”, appears in the dock with other co-accused at the court in Malindi on May 2, 2023. – A Kenyan pastor appearing in court on May 2, 2023 will face terrorism charges, prosecutors said in connection with the deaths of over 100 people found buried in what has been dubbed the “Shakahola forest massacre”. The deeply religious Christian-majority country has been stunned by the discovery of mass graves last month in a forest near the Indian Ocean coastal town of Malindi. (Photo by SIMON MAINA / AFP)

Following the killings of 429 individuals, Paul Mackenzie and 94 others face terrorism charges.The accused all rejected the charges, which were read out in a magistrates’ court in southeastern Kenya.

The Kenyan cult leader is accused of encouraging members of his Good News International Church to relocate to Shakahola woodland in preparation for the end of the world. Hundreds would later die.

Other charges for child torture and assault are expected to be introduced at a separate court session.

Mackenzie was caught in April 2013 after remains were discovered in mass graves in a remote forest approximately two hours from the beach town of Malindi.The majority displayed indications of malnutrition, but several, including children, may have been abused, according to media accounts.

The self-proclaimed pastor denies culpability for the killings, claiming his church has been shuttered since 2019.

The suspects’ defence lawyer’s bail application has been referred to another court.

Written by PH

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