Kenya Cult Pastor Found Guilty Over Illegal Film Studio

Self-proclaimed pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, (C) who set up the Good News International Church in 2003 and is accused of inciting cult followers to starve to death "to meet Jesus", appears at the Shanzu law courts in Mombasa on May 5, 2023. A Kenyan cult leader accused of inciting and possibly forcing his followers to starve themselves to death appeared in court on May 5, 2023 in connection with the deaths of more than 100 people found buried in mass graves. The deeply religious Christian-majority country has been stunned by the discovery of the graves last month near the Indian Ocean coastal town of Malindi, in what has been dubbed the "Shakahola forest massacre". (Photo by SIMON MAINA / AFP)

The Kenyan preacher at the centre of a doomsday cult that led to the deaths of more than 400 people, Paul Mackenzie, was found guilty, but not of their killings.

A court in the coastal town of Malindi convicted him of illegally operating a film studio associated with his preaching and distributing films without a valid filming licence.

The magistrate, however, acquitted him of the offence of inciting children against attending school.

Mackenzie could face imprisonment of up to five years or pay a fine. Sentencing has been scheduled for next month.

Mackenzie has not been formally charged in relation to the death of hundreds of his alleged followers, despite being in custody since April.

The discovery of the bodies in shallow graves in a forest shocked Kenya earlier in the year.