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Three men jailed for 25 years for brutal ‘witchcraft’ murder

Three middle aged men have been sentenced to 25 years in prison each after they were found guilty of murdering a 72-year-old man over claims he was engaged in witchcraft.

The three, Richard Rimoi, Benson Muketiang and Wilson Lemereng, were convicted by the Kapenguria high court for the murder of Ringetiang Tomeluk on December 28, 2017 at Chepkuikui village in Pokot Central sub-county.

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The prosecution called six witnesses to testify against the three after they denied committing the offence.

According to one of the witnesses, the deceased was beaten senselessly while his hands were tied together after he attended a meeting convened to sort out the witchcraft allegations raised against him.

Ringetiang was then dragged for a while before being set on fire.

One of the witnesses narrated to the court how Muketiang set the old man on fire after petrol was poured on him.

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Dr Jotham Mukhola, the medical superintendent at Kapenguria county hospital, told the court that there were multiple bruises on both the lower and upper limbs and other parts of the body of the deceased.

The doctor also noted that the deceased man’s lungs had carbon, indicating that he had inhaled smoke.

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The medic’s report showed he died from acute bleeding with 60 per cent burns added to trauma from a blunt force and dry heat.

According to Justice Ruth Sitati, the evidence presented before her court was sufficient to sentence the trio to 25 years in jail but accorded them 14 days to file an appeal against the sentence.

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