The Seeb Court of First Instance for criminal cases gave an eight-year jail term followed by deportation to a sorcerer who caused the death of two Omanis during a ritual in the South Mabellah suburb, 40km north of Muscat.
In December last year, the Al Khodh police station was alerted by a citizen about strange noises and loud screams coming from a neighbouring house.
On getting to the house, police squads found seven people lying unconscious in a room filled with smoke. According to a Royal Oman Police (ROP) version of events, the poisonous smoke at a sorcery ritual asphyxiated the participants. The burning of incense, mixed with poisonous herbs, caused death of two out of the seven, including two women.
During the raid in December last year, the police had also seized books, incense, herbs, candles and solutions used in the practice of black magic. All the confiscated material was produced in the court, which the judge ordered to be confiscated.
One of the accused, a Tanzanian national, was caught from the scene of the incident for practicing sorcery, while another was arrested for letting his rented house for the sorcery rituals, according to an ROP report.
On Saturday, the court sentenced the Tanzanian national to seven years in prison for involuntary manslaughter (death caused by negligent act). He was also given an additional one year of imprisonment for practicing medicine without a licence along with a fine of 1000 Omani riyals (about N410,000). The accused was also given one month prison term for violating the country’s residency laws.
The judge also served a deportation order with life-ban on re-entering Oman for the accused.
The second accused was given a month-long jail term and a fine of an unspecified amount for violating labour laws and harbouring the first accused.
The black magic cases have increased in recent times and the ROP have urged people to shun any claims of supernatural powers, black magic or witchcraft.