Two lead lawyers in the case of controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie have withdrawn from the case.
The lawyers, George Kariuki and Elisha Komora, have cited frustrations in accessing the preacher who is in detention alongside his co-accused.
"With the challenges that the suspects are going through and the current circumstances, I feel my conscience is disturbed," Kariuki said.
The defense lawyers have also cited threats to their lives, arguing that justice might not be served in the case. Kariuki says most of the suspects are in bad shape and might die before trial.
"They have been sleeping on the floor for 60 days. It defeats justice... Surely, they might become sick and die before trial," he added.
The third lawyer, Wycliffe Makasembo, has vowed to stick with Mackenzie to the end, although he has accused the government of frustrating the case.
"I feel there is an invisible hand trying to frustrate Mackenzie and others. This hand is none other than the state. Personally, I will stick with Mackenzie and the others to death or when I will feel I have had enough and also run away," Makasembo said.
On Monday, 65 Mackenzie followers were charged with attempting to kill themselves by absconding meals while at Sajahanadi Rescue Centre in Mtwapa.
The 65, charged before Shanzu courts, are among the followers who were rescued from Shakahola Forest in Kilifi while attempting to fast to death.
As of Tuesday, June 13, 2023, 303 bodies had been exhumed from Shakahola forest in Kilifi. 613 are reported missing while 95 have been rescued so far.
Controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie, who is currently in police custody, is the prime suspect in the deaths.
The leader of Good News International Church is said to have misled his followers to fast to death with a promise of meeting Jesus.