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Witchcraft charges dropped against United Seychelles party leader

Victoria, Seychelles | February 15, 2024, Thursday @ 15:42 in National » GENERAL | By: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 3830
Witchcraft charges dropped against United Seychelles party leader

Dr Patrick Herminie (first right) was among those whose charges were dropped and released. (Seychelles News Agency)

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The Seychelles Magistrates' Court on Thursday dropped all charges on five of the eight individuals in an ongoing witchcraft case.

Leader of United Seychelles, the main opposition party, Dr Patrick Herminie was among those whose charges were dropped and released.

The other four whose charges were dropped and released are Yvon Legaie from Ma Joie, Jules Radegonde from La Digue, Kenneth Evenor from Grand Anse Mahe and Marcel Naiken from Baie Lazare.

With the initial case dropped for the majority of those involved, the prosecution has opened two new cases against a Tanzanian national, Alli Said, Simon Dine from Anse Aux Pins and, and Bashir Umarji from Quincy Village.

Dine and Umarji are facing counts of counselling and procuring another person to exercise witchcraft while Alli faces charges of conspiracy to exercise witchcraft.

The three men remaining in the case will appear before the Magistrate's Court on February 29 to make their pleas and that will depend on whether the documents in the case have been handed to the counsels in time.

Umarji and Dine's bail conditions remain the same - SCR30,000 ($2,094) bail bond- for their release while the Tanzanian national remains in police custody.

The case relates to the arrest of a Tanzanian national on September 21 last year, in possession of several 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 several documents with strange language and symbols that were described as demonic and satanic.

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

Herminie was arrested, questioned, and later released on September 29.

The five other Seychellois were remanded for the offences of carrying out advice in matters of witchcraft, trespassing on burial places, insult to religion of any class, as well as writing or uttering words with intent to wound religious feelings. 

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Tags: Magistrates' Court, United Seychelles

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