Religious leader linked to famine issue in Kenya to face ‘possible terrorism charges’

(CNN) Paul Mackenzie Nthingi, leader of a religious group Linked to dozens of deaths in eastern KenyaHe could face “possible terrorism charges,” according to his lawyer, George Kariuki.

Kariuki told CNN that Mackenzie appeared in court on Tuesday, where he was “unconditionally released and then re-arrested … on possible terrorism charges.” He added that his client was later transferred to Shanzu Court in Mombasa.

The religious leader, who was wearing a pink and black vest, appeared with six other suspects, according to Citizen TV and CNN affiliate NTV.

Mackenzie was the first He was arrested last month, after police received a tip-off that his vast land in the Chakhula Forest in Kilifi County in eastern Kenya contained mass graves. He was denied bail, his attorney told CNN last week due to fears of interference with the investigation.

at least 109 bodies were recovered Of the Chakhola Forest, which is believed to be linked to a sect that allegedly encouraged its followers to starve themselves for salvation, Kenya’s Ministry of Interior tweeted on Monday, adding that an autopsy had begun “to determine the cause of death and finish the process of dissecting the families of the deceased”.

Holes are seen dug after exhumation at the mass grave site in Chikola, outside the coastal town of Malindi, on April 25, 2023.

The Office of the Public Prosecutor of Kenya previously said in first results that Nthingi and the other suspects “may have committed murder”, as well as “advising and assisting people to kill themselves” by “promoting extremist beliefs”.

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McKenzie’s attorney told CNN over the weekend that his client was in good health and had been eating meals while in detention.

“He is eating and drinking. He is healthy. I have met him in person. There were rumors that he refused to eat, which is not true,” Kariuki told CNN.

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