Controversial preacher Mackenzie hearing in terror case to proceed in camera.

Shanzu Principal Magistrate’s Court has decided that one of the cases involving controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie and 94 co-accused will be conducted in camera, starting Monday. This decision comes amid heightened sensitivity surrounding the witnesses, necessitating their protection from public and media exposure.

Paul Mackenzie and his co-accused are implicated in several cases connected to the Shakahola massacre, a tragic event that shocked the nation last year. The court’s move to hold the proceedings behind closed doors underscores the gravity and sensitivity of the testimonies expected from the witnesses.

Principal Magistrate Leah Juma ruled in favor of the closed-door hearing to ensure the safety and confidentiality of the witnesses. Consequently, no members of the media or the public will be permitted to attend the sessions. The court has scheduled the hearings to take place from July 8 to July 11, 2024, and will resume from July 22 to July 25, 2024.

Magistrate Juma emphasized the court’s commitment to delivering prompt justice for each of the accused individuals. She instructed all parties to adhere strictly to the established timelines, stating, “I will expedite the delivery of justice for each of the accused persons. All parties must be ready to proceed as scheduled, and if not, they must provide sufficient notice. Any party intending to file applications must give ample notice upon filing in court.”

In preparation for the hearings, pre-bail reports are being prepared to guide the court in evaluating the prosecution’s application to deny bail for Mackenzie and his co-accused. These reports are crucial in determining whether the accused will remain in custody or be released on bond pending trial.

The court’s firm stance on proceeding with the hearings under strict timelines and the decision to protect the witnesses reflect its dedication to ensuring a fair and secure judicial process for all involved.

CH Reporter

CH Reporter

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