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Guilty! ODPP wins 1st case against Paul MacKenzie 6 months after his arrest

The judge ordered that a pre-sentence report be filed to help decide what sentence to give.

Controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie

The state has won one of its cases against controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie since his arrest six months ago in May.

In a statement on November 10, the Office of The Director of Public Prosecutions announced that it had secured a guilty verdict in one of the counts MacKenzie was being charged with.

“One Paul Mackenzie has today been found guilty of being in possession and distributing films which have not been classified and operating a filming studio without a valid filming licence,” the statement read.

The controversial preacher was accused of using videos of teachings to indoctrinate his followers.

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The judge also ordered that a pre-sentence report be filed by the Probation and Aftercare Services.

A pre-sentence report is prepared to help the judge decide what sentence to give. It is used to find out about an offender’s background.

The case will proceed on December 1.

According to the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), it is illegal to distribute or exhibit any film that has not been examined and issued a certificate of approval.

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Specifically, section 12 of CAP 222 Laws of Kenya states that no person shall exhibit any film at an exhibition to which the public are admitted or distribute such film unless he is registered as an exhibitor or distributor by the Board and issued with a certificate.

Section 181 (1) (a) of the Penal Code states that any person for the purpose of or by way of trade or distribution or public exhibition, makes or has in his possession any obscene cinematograph films tending to corrupt morals is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for two years or to a fine of Sh7,000.

Paul MacKenzie is still facing prosecution for the Shakahola massacre that resulted in the death of over 400 in Kilifi County.

On Thursday, the hearing in the Shakahola massacre case failed to proceed after Mackenzie and his 29 co-suspects applied for an adjournment.

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“Mackenzie's lawyer, Wycliffe Makasembo, asked for more time to fine-tune his response to the state's application to have his clients detained for 180 more days pending charges,” a statement from the ODPP said.

The prosecution, through Assistant DPP Jami Yamina had opposed the application and asked the court not to allow any more delay in the hearing of the application by the suspects.

He claimed that it was the third time the suspects in the Shakahola massacre case sought to adjourn proceedings with respect to the state's application seeking their detention.

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MacKenzie has been in police custody since his arrest in May.

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