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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Seychelles opposition politician charged in witchcraft case

The trial of Patrick Herminie and the seven other defendants will begin in November

A court in Seychelles has charged the leader of the main opposition party and seven other individuals on allegations of witchcraft.

Patrick Herminie plans to run in the 2025 presidential election under the banner of the United Seychelles Party (USP), the country’s main opposition party.

He has denied the charges.

He told local media that his arrest and prosecution were a political effort to taint his image and that of his party.

Police say the case is related to the discovery of two bodies that had been exhumed from a cemetery on the island of Mahe.

According to local media reports, Mr Herminie and his co-accused face several charges, including possession of items intended for use in witchcraft and conspiracy to perform witchcraft.

Police say that they found Mr Herminie in possession of documents suspected to have been stolen from vandalised places, including Catholic churches.

They also allege that Mr Herminie’s name appeared in a Whatsapp communication between a Seychellois and a Tanzanian who was arrested in September in possession of items related to witchcraft.

The court released Mr Herminie and the other Seychellois defendants on bail of 30,000 Seychelles rupees ($2,100; £1,745), but the Tanzanian suspect will stay in custody until the hearing in November.

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