A Malawi Catholic priest, a policeman and a hospital worker have been sentenced by a dozen to the horrific murder in 2018 of a man with albinism, a court official said Friday.
Five of the 12 were found guilty of killing MacDonald Masambuka, 22, at the height of a crime spree that saw more than 40 murders and 145 attacks on people with the condition in Malawi.
The priest, Masambuka’s brother, a policeman and a hospital employee were convicted of dealing with human body parts.
“MacDonald was betrayed by those he trusted, namely the brother, the priest, the policeman and the clinical officer. These are positions of trust,” Malawi’s director of public prosecutions, Steve Kayuni, told AFP on Friday.
Since 2014, Malawi has for several years suffered a wave of attacks against albinos whose body parts are used in witchcraft rituals in the false belief that they bring wealth and happiness.
In a verdict handed down in the country on Thursday, a high court concluded that the 12 plans to assassinate Masambuka in order to recover his bones, in the hope of benefiting financially.
“This is a violation of the right to human life and the greatest violation of the rights to life and integrity for persons with albinism,” said Judge Dorothy NyaKaunda Kamanga.
Masambuka was murdered after being seduced by his brother to meet his friends who he claimed had found a wife to marry.
The sentence was set for May 31.
There are about 20 cases under prosecution in Malawi courts involving the murder, attempted murder, exhumation and sale of body tissue of people with albinism, Kayuni said.
Activist and former UN rapporteur on albinism, Ikponwosa Ero, said the latest case “points to a serious safety issue for people with albinism in Malawi”.
Catholic priest under 12 convicted of Malawi albino murder
Source link Catholic priest under 12 convicted of Malawi albino murder