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Mackenzie, eight associates released and rearrested

Controversial Malindi preacher Paul Mackenize and his eight associates were Tuesday rearrested immediately after a Malindi court discharged them.

Mackenzie, who is accused of influencing his followers to starve to death to meet Jesus and his associates appeared before Malindi Principal Magistrate Ivy Wasike where Senior State Counsel Vivian Kambaga applied for the closure of the case.

However, they could not taste any liberty as police officers, who included the paramilitary General Service Unit officers, were waiting for him at the basement. They rearrested them ad bundled them in waiting police vans.

Kambaka told the court that the prosecution intended to charge the suspects at the counter-terrorism court, under the prevention of Terrorism Act at Shanzu in Mombasa County.

The prosecution applied for the closure of the miscellaneous file in which Mackenzie and the others had been ordered to remain in police custody for 14 days pending formal charges to be preferred against them.

Kambaga described the ongoing investigations as complex, since exhumations and postmortem examinations were still underway and that preliminary investigations had revealed that the suspects could be charged under the prevention of Terrorism Act.

“Your honour, the prosecution intends to charge the suspects in an appropriate court that handles radicalization and counter terrorism cases, and that is why we pray that this miscellaneous file be closed,”

The respondents’ lawyers, led by Elisha Otieno did not oppose the closure of the file, but asked the court to release the suspects on bond.

A lawyer from the Law Society of Kenya, which is standing in for the victims, supported the prosecutions application.

However, the magistrate said he could not release them on bond since there was no case before her. She also said she could not grant an anticipatory bond since the defence lawyers had not applied for the same.

Immediately Mackenzie and his allies stepped out of the court room, police officers bundled them into two waiting vans with two escorts and drove off to Shanzu, Mombasa where they were expected to be formerly charged.

Meanwhile, irate members of the public last night demolished the Good News International church building in Malindi and looted equipment of unspecified value.

Earlier Monday, detectives took Mackenzie to the church building where they confiscated literature and computers believed to be containing radicalization materials.

Haki Africa, a human rights organization, welcomed the move and hoped that victims of the atrocities in Shakahola would get justice.

By Emmanuel Masha

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