Kenyan religious leader accused of causing deaths due to mass child starvation confronted with 191 murder charges

Movie DetailerWorld Kenyan religious leader accused of causing deaths due to mass child starvation confronted with 191 murder charges
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A judge in Kenya has ordered cult leader Paul Mackenzie and 30 associates to undergo mental health evaluations before facing charges for the murder of 191 children. These bodies have been discovered in the Shakahola forest since last April. Mackenzie, who heads the Good News International Church, allegedly instructed his followers to starve themselves and their children to death in order to reach heaven before the world’s end. This incident, which involved the exhumation of over 400 bodies across thousands of acres of forest, is one of the most severe cult-related disasters in recent history. Prosecutors plan to charge a total of 95 individuals with murder, manslaughter, terrorism, and torture. Mackenzie’s lawyer has stated that the pastor is cooperating with the investigation. Additionally, a judge has granted the prosecution’s request for mental health assessments of the 31 defendants before their formal charges and pleas in two weeks. Mackenzie appeared in court, dressed in a polo shirt, alongside his co-defendants. The prosecution has cited the challenging and delicate task of locating, exhuming, and performing autopsies on numerous human remains as reasons for the delay in bringing charges. Some of Mackenzie’s followers, who were emaciated, were rescued from the forest. According to individuals familiar with the cult’s activities, Mackenzie planned the mass starvation in three stages: first targeting children, then women and young men, and finally the remaining men. Formerly a taxi driver, Mackenzie prohibited cult members from sending their children to school or seeking medical treatment, deeming these institutions as Satanic. In December, he was convicted of producing and distributing films without a license and received a 12-month prison sentence.

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