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Opposition Leader in Seychelles Charged in Witchcraft Investigation

Patrick Herminie, the leader of the main opposition party in Seychelles, has been charged as part of an investigation into alleged witchcraft. Herminie, who heads the United Seychelles party and has expressed intentions to run in the 2025 presidential election, has denounced the charges as politically motivated.

Herminie was arrested on Friday at his party’s headquarters and had his office searched before being released. On Monday, he was formally charged, along with seven others, at the Seychelles magistrates’ court in connection with an investigation into “witchcraft” and “unnatural and superstitious” acts.

The opposition leader has claimed that these charges are part of a political ploy by President Wavel Ramkalawan to eliminate potential rivals in the 2025 elections.

The charges against Herminie and the others stem from a WhatsApp message exchange involving a Tanzanian man who was detained in September, allegedly in possession of items associated with witchcraft, including black wooden artefacts, small bottles of brownish liquid, and documents containing language and symbols described as satanic.

The investigation is also linked to the discovery of two dug-up bodies, an elderly woman and a young man, in a cemetery on the main island of Mahe in August.

Prosecutors have argued that symbols on the documents found in the Tanzanian’s possession were similar to those found at vandalized locations in Seychelles, including Catholic churches.

The court released Herminie and the other Seychellois defendants on bail, while the Tanzanian was ordered to remain in police custody. A new hearing in the case is scheduled for November 3.

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