A High Court sitting in Malindi Wednesday allowed the prosecution 14 days to carry out mental health assessments on cultist Paul Mackenzie and 30 other co-accused persons before they stand trial for the murder of the children victims of the Shakahola.
At least 238 children were among the 429 bodies of people exhumed from the vast Shakahola forest.
They died after they were forced to fast for weeks.
There are accusations some victims were strangled to death.
After a nine-month investigation, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Renson Mulele said Mackenzie and 30 others were responsible for the deaths of victims, mostly children.
Mackenzie and the co-accused were arraigned on Wednesday, but the DPP asked for two weeks to carry out mental assessments before they are charged with murder.
The defense team, led by Wycliff Makasembo opposed the application.
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However, Malindi High Court Judge Lady Justice Thande Mugure granted the prosecution 14 days to continue holding the suspects to undergo mental tests.
The matter will be mentioned on February 6.
Mackenzie was detained in April last year after hundreds of bodies were found in mass graves.
Most showed signs of starvation, but some – children among them – may have been assaulted.
MacKenzie, a self-proclaimed pastor accused of leading a doomsday cult, has denied responsibility for the deaths.
Prosecutors have said they will charge him and 94 others with murder, manslaughter, terrorism, and torture.
In a case that stunned not only Kenyans but people across the world, the bodies of 429 people, including children, were dug up from grave sites in Shakahola, a remote forest about two hours’ drive out of Malindi.
Mackenzie is alleged to have encouraged members of his Good News International Church to move there and prepare for the end of the world.
Mackenzie, who is in police custody, is being investigated for influencing his followers to starve to death to meet their maker.
Police also suspect that some of the victims did not starve to death and may have been killed and then buried on the property.
He has denied wrongdoing but has been refused bail.
The followers say he told them to starve themselves to “meet Jesus”
But Mackenzie has said the deaths could not be blamed on him as he closed his church in 2019.