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Paul Mackenzie, a Kenyan cult leader accused of ordering his followers, who were members of the Good News International Church, to starve themselves to death in Shakahola forest, sits in the dock at the Malindi Law Courts in Malindi, Kilifi, Kenya January 17, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer

Kenyan pastor charged with 191 counts of murder in starvation deaths case

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A Kenyan court on Tuesday charged self-proclaimed pastor, Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, and 29 suspected accomplices with murder over the deaths of 191 people found buried in a forest near the Indian Ocean.

The defendants all denied the charges brought before a court in the coastal town of Malindi.

One suspect found mentally unfit to stand trial, was ordered to return to the Malindi High Court in a month.

Mackenzie, who has already been charged with terrorism, manslaughter as well as child torture, and cruelty, is accused of inciting hundreds of his followers to starve to death to meet Jesus.

Police arrested him last April after bodies were found in the Shakahola Forest. More than 400 bodies were exhumed. Autopsies showed some of the victims died of hunger. But others, including children, appeared to have been strangled, beaten, or suffocated.


(With input from wires)

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