31 Oct 2010

New Zealand exorcism case jurors ask for clarification

The New Zealand Herald - June 12, 2009

The jury in the trial of eight people for the manslaughter of a woman during an exorcism (makutu) ceremony has returned to court to get clarification.

The jurors in the High Court at Wellington asked for clarification of the points they need to decide on the charge that two of the accused face of allowing a child to be ill-treated.

The 11 jurors started deliberations yesterday.

They have to decide whether eight family members of Janet Moses, who died at Wainuiomata in 2007, were guilty of her manslaughter.

They also have to decide whether the caregivers of a 14-year-old girl allowed her to be ill-treated during the same ritual "cleansing" at which Ms Moses died.

Justice Simon France said for a guilty verdict the jury would have to decide that the pair consciously appreciated what was happening to the 14-year-old girl in their care would be likely to cause her unnecessary suffering.

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