• Wednesday, 19 June 2024
High Court orders prosecution to reduce murder charges form 191 to 12 in the Shakahola massacre case

High Court orders prosecution to reduce murder charges form 191 to 12 in the Shakahola massacre case

The High Court has ordered the prosecution to review and amend the 191 murder charges levelled against the 30 accused persons in the Shakahola massacre case.

High Court Judge Mugure Thande directed that the 191 charges be reduced to 12 to allow for a quick conclusion of the case.

In a statement on Friday, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (0DPP) said the court found that controversial preacher Paul Nthenge Mackenzie and 29 others were properly charged in accordance with the law and that the charge sheet was properly drafted.

During the ruling, the judge however ordered the prosecution to amend the charge sheet from 191 to 12 murder charges within 21 days.

She argued that reducing the number of charges would save time and allow a quick conclusion of the case.

“Thande stated that the charge as drawn will not occasion any prejudice to Mackenzie and his co-accused persons,” stated ODPP.

“She noted that decreasing the number of charges will facilitate the quick delivery of justice to all parties while also saving valuable judicial time. She directed the DPP to amend the information containing the murder counts within 21 days and file fresh charges against them.”

The ruling came after the defense counsel had filed an objection that challenged the number of counts in the charge.

Regarding the application by the prosecution to oppose the release of the 30 suspects on bond, the court directed both parties to file their submissions on July 18, 2024.

Mackenzie and his co-accused on bond pleaded not guilty to 191 counts of murder, contrary to Section 203 as read with 204 of the penal code.

The 30 suspects are accused of committing the offences on an unknown date between January 2021 and September 2023 in the Shakahola area of Malindi Sub County within Kilifi County. 

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