Shakahola massacre: 95 suspects to face murder, manslaughter and radicalisation charges

The Director of Public Prosecutions Renson Ingonga has approved ten criminal charges, including murder and terrorism against suspects linked to the Shakahola massacre that claimed over 430 lives.

The DPP said his office has reviewed the investigations file forwarded by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and found sufficient evidence to press charges against  95 suspects who were arrested over the tragedy.

“Upon thorough analysis of the evidence, the DPP is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute ninety-five (95) suspects with the charges. The ODPP undertakes to expeditiously prosecute the matters in view of the great public interest involved,” ODPP said in a press statement.

Mr Ingonga has therefore directed that the suspects be presented before the High Court and Magistrate court to face the criminal charges over the tragedy that claimed the lives of the adherents of the Good News International Church.

Under the Penal Code, the suspects will be charged with the offences of murder, manslaughter and assault causing bodily harm.

Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2012 and the Prevention of Organized Crimes Act, 2010, the suspects will be charged with the offences of engaging in organised criminal activity, radicalisation, facilitating the commission of a terrorist act and being in possession of an article connected with an offence under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2012.

Under the Children Act, Prevention of Torture Act, and the Basic Education Act, 2013, the suspects will be charged with the offences of subjecting a child to torture, cruelty to a child and Infringing a child’s right to education contrary to Section 30 (1)(2) as read with Section 30 (3) of the Basic Education Act, 2013.

Suspected Kilifi cult leader Paul Mackenzie and his 29 associates have been in custody since May last year over the deaths.

Another 66 people who were rescued from the forest have also been in prison as investigations into their role in the massacre were ongoing.

Last week, the Shanzu court gave the state 14 days to file charges against the suspects or they would be released on bond.

Kilifi County Criminal Investigation officer Mr David Siele told the Nation that the first batch of the Shakahola suspects will be charged on Wednesday at the Malindi High Court.

Speaking in his office, Mr Siele said the second batch would be charged next week with different matters, including child offenses.

“The suspects will be formally charged in different Courts in Shanzu, Malindi, and Tononoka  Court in Mombasa for children,” he said.

The Kilifi County Criminal Headquarters was busy on Tuesday morning as a team of detectives were on the task, preparing the matter ahead of the arraignment.

They were to visit the suspects at the Bofa GK Prison in Kilifi town to write charges and statements.

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