A court document filed by police investigating Kenya cult deaths says autopsies showed some organs were missing from bodies exhumed from shallow graves.
“Post-mortem reports have established missing organs in some of the bodies of victims who have been exhumed,” chief inspector Martin Munene said in an affidavit filed to a Nairobi court.
It said that “it is believed that trade on human body organs has been well co-ordinated involving several players”.
But Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor had earlier ruled out organ harvesting following autopsies on 112 bodies in his final report on Friday.
Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki said on Tuesday that “on the issue of missing body parts theory, I think investigations are still going on… I’m advised by the experts that we should not pre-empt the investigations…it’s a theory we are investigating”.
Most of the victims, including children, died of starvation but some were strangled, beaten, or suffocated, according to the pathologist.
The main suspect in the case, Pastor Paul Mackenzie, is alleged to have encouraged his followers to fast to death in order to go to heaven. He has previously denied to have forced them into the fast.
A fresh round of exhumations in the expansive 800-acre forest in the coastal Kilifi county resumed on Tuesday in an exercise supervised by the interior minister.
The Kenyan Red Cross says that 360 people had been reported missing, while the authorities say at least 60 others have been rescued alive.
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