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Indonesia Black Magic
By: RSS/News FeedsHungZai Team

An Indonesian man who murdered 42 women in “black magic” rituals aimed at increasing his supernatural powers will soon be executed by firing squad, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Self-proclaimed shaman Ahmad Suraji was sentenced to death in 1998 after police found the women’s bodies buried in a sugar cane field in North Sumatra.

Suraji confessed to police that he strangled most of the women and drank their saliva after they came to him for supernatural help with their finances and love life. He said the saliva improved his magical powers.

Indonesia is mainly Muslim but belief in black magic is widespread.

Suraji’s execution was approved after his second application for clemency was rejected by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, senior prosecutor Abdul Hakim Ritonga told AFP .

“Based on that rejection, we decided to execute him. We have ordered local officials to carry out all the preparations,” Ritonga said.

The serial killer is one of five Indonesians set to be executed “soon”, Ritonga said, while declining to give specific dates.

A security officer at the North Sumatra prison where Suraji sits on death row, who identified himself as Budi, said no official order had been received for the execution.

Suraji’s wife Tumini, the oldest of three sisters all married to the convicted serial killer, was also sentenced to death for her role in the killings. No date has been set for her execution.

Suraji told police before his 1998 trial he began his killing spree after his late father ordered him in a dream to murder 70 women as part of a black magic ritual.

Police said during Suraji’s trial that he instructed his female clients to allow themselves to be buried naked up to the neck before he strangled them to death.

However, Suraji’s lawyer said Thursday his client was innocent and had been tortured by police into confessing.

“If he really has black magic powers, why did he have wounds all over his body? Police must have tortured him. Someone who has black magic can’t be wounded anywhere on his body,” Legal Aid Institute lawyer Adi Mansar said.

The bodies found in the sugar cane plantation were actually those of victims of a brutal military-backed crackdown on communists in the 1960s that killed upwards of half a million people, Mansar said.

A local journalist who interviewed Suraji earlier this week said the serial killer had become a pious Muslim while in prison, praying five times a day and doling out religious advice to his fellow inmates.

“The black magic came from God. I don’t have it anymore, I have repented. I hope I have a chance to live,” Suraji told Wadson Manalu.

Prison guard Budi said the serial killer was popular with other inmates and did not need to be isolated.

“He has no problem here and has many friends. He is not living in a special cell, he shares a cell with several prisoners,” Budi said.

Executions in Indonesia are by firing squad, usually carried out at night in isolated and undisclosed locations. The prisoner is notified of his execution date at least 72 hours beforehand.

Indonesia executed two Nigerian nationals for drug trafficking last week.

Three Indonesian men convicted over the Bali bombings which killed more than 200 people in 2002 are also awaiting execution.

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