Two charged with murder for witch burning

Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:03 AM
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MOUNT HAGEN, Papua New Guinea, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Police in Papua New Guinea said they charged a man and woman with murder for the burning death of a woman accused of killing a child through sorcery.

Kepari Leniata, 20, was burned to death this month after she allegedly admitted she used witchcraft to make a young boy seriously ill. The boy later died and, in retaliation, his relatives allegedly tortured Leniata with a hot iron rod, stripped her naked, bound her hands and feet, and threw her onto a pile of burning tires in front of a crowd.

Police told Papua New Guinea newspaper The National that about 100 people were arrested in a raid Thursday for their alleged involvement in Leniata's death.

Janet Watea, the dead boy's mother, and Andrew Watea, his uncle, were charged with the killing of Leniata. Police released 38 of the suspects after questioning.

The pair were to appear in district court in Mount Hagen Tuesday for a judge to decide if they should be granted bail or not, the newspaper said.

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