Home NEWS Local News Divided opinion over court’s ultimatum on Shakahola massacre suspects

Divided opinion over court’s ultimatum on Shakahola massacre suspects

Suspected Kilifi Cult leader Paul Mackenzie

The director of public prosecution has a fortnight to charge suspected Shakahola massacre mastermind Paul Mackenzie and his 29 co-accused.

Senior Principal Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda on Tuesday ruled that an application by assistant DPP Jami Yamina to seek an additional 180 days to detain Mackenzie to allow investigators conclude probe “has been determined by passage of time”

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Shikanda indicated that the suspects have been in custody for 117 days since the application was filed on 18 September last year.

He stated that the matter was not heard immediately because of intervening factors and the ruling also had to be delayed because of excusable circumstances. Shikanda further stated that Makenzie and his co-suspects have been in custody for over three months since the application for extension of custodial orders was filed.

The court ruled that the period was sufficient for investigators to complete their investigations to pave way for the DPP to make a decision to charge.

“However, I am alive to the fact that in the event the State decides to charge the respondents, it would require time and facilities to process the charges and eventually present the respondents in court. This is owing to the number of the respondents and the possible charges that they may face. Added Shikanda.

The court allowed the state to hold the suspects in custody for 14 days to allow the DPP to institute a decision to charge each of the 30 suspects.

“If no decision to charge the respondents will have been made after the expiry of such period, the court will consider releasing the respondents from custody on terms that will be determined by the court,” he opined.

The matter shall be mentioned on 23 January 2024 for further orders.

Haniel Mengistu
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