Witchcraft case: Seychelles court remands 6 suspects for 10 days

The court ordered that the suspects remain in police custody while the investigation continues. (Seychelles Nation)

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(Seychelles News Agency) – A Tanzanian national and five Seychellois arrested in a suspected witchcraft case, related to two bodies that were dug up from a cemetery in August and other acts of vandalism and witchcraft, were remanded for another 10 days by the Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

The court ordered that the suspects remain in police custody while the investigation continues.

The suspects were arrested for the offences of carrying out advice in matters of witchcraft contrary to section 182 A of the penal code, trespassing on burial places contrary to section 127 of the penal code, insult to religion of any class contrary to section 125 of the penal code and writing or uttering words with intent to wound religious feelings contrary to section 128 of the penal code.

The judge hearing the application on Monday morning, Brigitte Asba, declared that the courts were “satisfied the application is well founded” as the police would need time to carry out further searches.

The suspects will reappear before the Magistrates’ Court on Monday 2, October.

The Tanzanian national was arrested by the authorities at the Seychelles International Airport on Thursday, September 21, in possession of a number of items that have been linked to witchcraft.

Among the items were black wooden artifacts, stones, small bottles of brownish liquid, an assortment of powders, and a number of documents with strange language and symbols that were described as demonic and satanic.

It was through police interrogation of the Tanzanian national that the names of the five Seychellois suspects were mentioned and subsequently apprehended.

The case is related to the investigation of an incident where two dug up corpses were discovered on August 8 at the Takamaka cemetery on the main island of Mahe.

It is the first time that this has happened in Seychelles, according to the police.

The bodies of an elderly woman and a young man were found next to a pyramid composed of blocks and pieces from other graves, as well as the images of President Wavel Ramkalawan, the leader of the United Seychelles (US) party, Dr Patrick Herminie, and two other individuals, who were not named by the police.

Furthermore, the prosecution has said that the symbols on the documents found in the Tanzanian’s possession were similar to symbols found in places that were vandalised in Seychelles among which were Catholic churches around the island.

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